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Khieu Samphan Defense Challenges Tribunal Prosecution Documents

A journalist listens to Khieu Samphan, center, former Khmer Rouge head of state, as he appears on TV screen at the court press center of the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh, file photo.

The defense team for jailed Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan on Tuesday objected to documentation submitted to the UN-backed court by the prosecution, challenging their reliability.

Khieu Samphan is one of three former leaders on trial for atrocity crimes. Prosecutors are seeking to establish the regime’s administrative structure and procedures, in order to bind Khieu Samphan, the former head of state, with Nuon Chea, the regime’s ideologue, and Ieng Sary, its former foreign minister, in joint criminal conduct.

Defense attorney Kong Sam On said documents submitted by the prosecution are not related to the issues during this phase of the trial.

“Facts related to cooperatives, work fields, security centers killing, killing sites or deportation should be in the third phase of the trial, not in this phase,” he said.

Khieu Samphan defense attorney Anta Guisse also rejected the submission of audio and video clips submitted by the prosecution, which included statements from experts in Vietnam and Sweden.

Defense lawyers for Nuon Chea and Ieng Sary also objected to prosecution documents on Tuesday.

However, Cambodian prosecutor Veng Huot said there was ample information to establish the credibility of the documentation. His international counterpart, Arik Abdulhak said the documents were related to the Khmer Rouge’s administrative system and the roles and positions of the accused in that administration.