The tribunal is in the midst of starting the second and final phase of a trial of Nuon Chea, the regime’s chief ideologue, and Khieu Samphan, its nominal head of state.
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.
Nhem Boraden said that while it could be called a failed state, and one without a civilian structure, the Khmer Rouge regime had all the elements of a modern military.
More meetings are to be held this week, leading up to another hearing session on Oct. 27.
Defense lawyers for Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan boycotted an opening hearing for the two men on Friday, leaving the courtroom and putting the second and final phase of the trial for the two men in limbo.
The trial of two former Khmer Rouge leaders resumed on Friday. They were accused of genocide. Nuon Chea, 88 and Khieu Saphan, 83, were convicted in August on charges of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life in prison.
It remains unclear what will happen next with the hearing, which was to begin a trial of atrocity crimes for the two men, including, for the first time, genocide.
There was no discussion of a lack of movement on two cases—Nos. 003 and 004—at the court, nor a discussion of at least one potential defendant’s refusal to answer a court summons.
Cambodian and UN officials say they still need more funding to continue the work of the Khmer Rouge tribunal, despite waning interest from some donors.
The complaint accuses Nil Nonn, head of the Trial Chamber, French judge Jean-Marc Lavergne, and three other judges of “bias” and requests they be disqualified.
The hearings will open Oct. 17 in what is the tribunal’s most important trial to date.