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First foreign defense lawyer sworn in at Khmer Rogue genocide tribunal

[JURIST] French lawyer Francois Roux was sworn in Wednesday to defend former Khmer Rouge prison chief Kaing Khek lev [TrialWatch profile], also known as Duch, in his trial before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website]. Cambodian Bar Association President Ky Tech said that Roux is the first foreign defense lawyer to receive formal approval to appear before the ECCC. Roux, who has practiced law for over 30 years and has represented US terror convict Zacarias Moussaoui and defendants before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, was selected [press release, PDF] by Duch last Wednesday along with Cambodian lawyer Kar Savuth. Roux submitted his application to register with the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia on July 31 and has been serving as Duch's "legal consultant."

The Defense Support Section of the ECCC opened the application period for defense lawyers on July 10, seeking Cambodian and foreign lawyers [press release, PDF; JURIST report] with at least 10 years of relevant legal experience. Foreign applicants are required to pay a $500 registration fee [JURIST report] to the Cambodian bar association. Duch, the only former official of significance currently in detention, is charged with crimes against humanity [ECCC press release, PDF; JURIST report]. He is the former director of the infamous Tuol Sleng Security Prison [Wikipedia backgrounder], where approximately 17,000-20,000 people were detained, tortured, and sentenced to death. Duch has indicated that he is willing to testify [JURIST report] against other members of the Khmer Rogue [MIPT backgrounder; JURIST news archive], the regime responsible for the deaths of over 1.7 million people between during the 1975-1979 Cambodian genocide. AFP has more.

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