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Hearings for Khmer Rouge Suspended as Defense Boycotts

In this photo released by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Khieu Samphan, left, former Khmer Rouge head of state, and Nuon Chea, right, who was the Khmer Rouge's chief ideologist and No. 2 leader, sit in the court hall before they made closing statements at the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh, file photo.

The Trial Chamber of the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Monday suspended hearings for two jailed regime leaders, as a boycott of proceedings by defense lawyers continues.

Defense teams for Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan are boycotting because they have filed grievances with the court they say have gone unanswered, including accusations of bias among judges.

On Friday, the court issued an official warning to the defense teams under internal rules of the court.

In a statement, the court said the defense had “abandoned the courtroom” during a hearing last week, and it ordered them to appear at a trial management meeting on Tuesday.

Defense lawyers told VOA Khmer Monday that they plan on attending the meeting, but they will continue to boycott trial hearings.

Trial hearings, meanwhile, will remain postponed, the court said.