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Nuon Chea Team Says He Will Not Participate in Afternoons at Court

In this photo released by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Nuon Chea, center, who was Pol Pot's No. 2 and the group's chief ideologist, sits during the second trial of the top leaders of Khmer Rouge in the court hall of the U.N.-backe

Proceedings at the Khmer Rouge tribunal took an unexpected turn on Thursday, when defense attorneys for Nuon Chea said the court should reschedule the testimony of torture chief Kaing Kek Iev for the mornings only because Noun Chea would not participate in his trial in the afternoons.

Kaing Kek Iev, better known as Duch, is scheduled to testify at the court on Monday in the atrocity crimes trial of Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary.

Prosecutors have sought to tie the three men in joint criminal acts for the crimes committed by Khmer Rouge cadre under their leadership, and Duch is expected to give testimony on the administrative structure of the regime.

On Thursday, Nuon Chea defense attorney Michiel Pestman told the court his client has a right to confront the witness and challenge testimony, but he would not do so in the afternoons.

“Nuon Chea has the right to be present when Duch is being questioned,” Pestman said.

The court adjourned for 20 minutes, after which Trial Chamber chief judge Nil Nonn announced a new schedule.

Duch will testify on Monday morning, all of Tuesday, Wednesday morning and all of Thursday, he said.