Politics & Media
Aug 31, 2009, 09:01AM

Jacques Verges will defend anyone

And has -- including Milosevic, Carlos the Jackal, Saddam Hussein, and Klaus Barbie.

Khieu Samphan and Jacques Vergès, two old men with thin-rimmed glasses and thickened waists, were sitting on a floor mat, shoeless, having tea. It was late August 2006, in a room at the Renakse hotel, a converted colonial mansion in central Phnom Penh. Khieu, the former president of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge and a Pol Pot loyalist to the end, was still free. But he was growing nervous as a UN-backed tribunal was ramping up its efforts to indict the few surviving Khmer Rouge leaders for war crimes and crimes against humanity. So he had called on his old friend Vergès, defender of terrorists and tyrants. Khieu wore brown polyester pants, Vergès a beige linen suit. They called each other “Maître” and “Président” and reminisced about the time when they had no titles – their student days in Paris in the 1950s. And t hey strategised.


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