Trial Chamber orders appointment of standby counsel for Khieu Samphan

The Trial Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has denied a request from the Co-Prosecutors to appoint an amicus curiae counsel on a temporary basis, and has ordered the Defence Support Section to appoint one international and one national Court Appointed Standby Counsel for Khieu Samphan.

The Trial Chamber took this action as a result of its finding that the conduct of KHIEU Samphan and his Defence counsel over the last two months, including the failure to appear in court, obstructed proceedings. The Chamber has taken this action with a view to preventing such obstruction from occurring again.

The role of Standby Counsel will be to prepare and maintain the capacity to take over the defence of Khieu Samphan should the Trial Chamber determine it to be necessary. Standby Counsel would be independent of the current Defence Team, and they will not consult or take instructions from the Accused Khieu Samphan unless and until ordered to do so by the Trial Chamber. They are to attend all hearings in Case 002/02 and familiarize themselves with the Case File.

Should the Standby Counsel be ordered to replace the current counsel for Khieu Samphan, they would serve as Court Appointed Defence Counsel. Such Counsel are obliged to adhere to court orders and comply with the legal framework of the ECCC.

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