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Tribunal Judges Keep Seats After Defense Complaint

Khmer Rouge tribunal officials rejected on Thursday a motion from defense lawyers to disqualify a group of judges from an upcoming trial of former regime leaders.

In their decision, five judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber said the motion lacked evidence and said they would no longer consider further similar motions.

Defense lawyers for former Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith filed a complaint in February accusing five judges—Nil Nonn, Sylvia Cartwright, Jean-Marc Levergne, Ya Sakhan and Thou Mony—of bias and corruption.

They asked the judges be removed from Case 002, which will try the three defendants, along with Khieu Samphan, for atrocity crimes, including genocide. The trial is expected to take place later this year.

In their decision Thursday, the Trial Chamber said the motion lacked evidence and reasoning. They also rejected a request to suspend procedures in anticipation of an appeal and further hearings on the matter.

Ang Udom, a lawyer for Ieng Sary, said the decision was “not suitable” and “not reasonable.”