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Khmer Rouge second-in-command selects Dutch lawyer for war crimes trial

[JURIST] Former Khmer Rouge official Nuon Chea [GenocideWatch report] on Thursday selected [press release, PDF] Dutch lawyer Michiel Pestman [firm profile] to serve as foreign counsel in his upcoming trial before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive], the ECCC said Thursday on charges [statement, PDF] of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Chea is currently represented by Cambodian lawyer Son Arun [press release, PDF], with whom Pestman will work as co-counsel. Pestman has previously represented several high-profile clients including Moinina Fofana [TrialWatch profile], a former leader of Sierra Leone's Civil Defense Forces sentenced [JURIST report] to prison by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) [official website] earlier this month.

Chea was known as Brother Number Two in the Khmer Rouge, indicative of his high position in the communist movement led by Pol Pot, who died in 1998 having never been prosecuted for alleged war crimes. Chea has disputed [JURIST report] the war crimes charges he faces since his arrest [detention order, PDF; JURIST report] in September. Earlier this week, Chea urged [JURIST report] the ECCC to release him on bail. Reuters has more.

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