In the second set of appeal hearings since the Trial Chamber issued its Judgment in Case 002/01 on 7 August 2014, proceedings were cut short after the Defense Team for Nuon Chea refused to engage with the appeals process. As hearings began on Tuesday morning, the Greffier noted the absence of international Defense Counsel for Nuon Chea, Victor Koppe, and the Bench subsequently granted the Accused leave to address the Chamber in person and explain the absence of his lawyer. Nuon Chea told the Court that he had instructed his lawyers not to be present at the appeal hearings because of his belief that the Supreme Court Chamber (SCC) is biased against him. He also announced his intention to leave the courtroom following his statement and to not participate any further in the appeals process. After lively debate from all parties, the Chamber issued an oral decision ruling that Nuon Chea must remain in the courtroom, unless medical reasons prevented him from doing so, in which case he must be present in the holding cell. The Chamber also ruled that Defense Counsel must be present in the courtroom on his behalf at all times. When Defense Counsel continued to be absent during the second session of the day, the Chamber ordered the Defense Support Section (DSS) to arrange standby counsel for Nuon Chea as soon as possible, and the Court adjourned proceedings in the early afternoon.
A new scheduling order for the appeal hearings is yet to be issued. In the week that followed, the Parties filed several submissions about the boycott. This is not the first time that defense lawyers have boycotted proceedings at the ECCC. Section II of this report details the particular circumstances of this boycott and surveys the relevant Cambodian law and professional codes that govern a situation like this. Section III of this report then aims to present this week’s events in the wider context of Case 002/01 proceedings, and also explore relevant international jurisprudence and domestic legal codes that Parties cited during the day’s proceedings.
KRT Trial Monitor Case 002/01 Appeals No. 2 – Second Set of Appeal Hearings (17 November)