Khmer Rouge tribunal defendants Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan must undergo health checks by a team of experts before the second phase of the trial against them proceeds, Trial Chamber President Nil Nonn has ruled.
The defense for Nuon Chea, 87, said his medical ailments impact his ability to concentrate on proceedings, and 82-year-old Khieu Samphan’s legal team said that their client “tires quickly” and has a diminished attention span. Both teams have suggested shorter trial times.
The prosecution has argued a health assessment is not necessary because one was carried out about a year ago and the octogenarians were found fit to stand trial.
In his order, Judge Nonn noted that “delaying the assessment of the accused, as proposed by the Co-Prosecutors, could lead to disruptions in the evidentiary proceedings in Case 002/02…and adversely impact judicial efficiency.”
Judge Nonn has appointed Dr. Seena Fazel, geriatrician Dr. Chan Kin Ming, and psychiatrist Dr. Huot Lina to assess Nuon Chea’s and Khieu Samphan’s health next month and provide a report to the Trial Chamber on March 25.
“Until the receipt of the Experts’ reports, the Chamber considers it is premature to consider the sitting times for Case 002/02,” he wrote.
Case 002/02 will have a wider scope than Case 002/01—a verdict in which is due shortly—and will include charges of genocide, a cooperative and a work site.
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