Foreign judges for Khmer Rouge trial

Ulhas Joglekar ulhasj at SPAMbom4.vsnl.net.in
Sat Jan 1 13:53:39 MST 2000




25 December 1999
Foreign judges for Khmer Rouge trial
PHNOM PENH: Cambodia moved Friday to set up trials for atrocities committed
by the Khmer Rouge during their horrific four-year rule in the 1970s.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said he welcomes international involvement in the
trials expected next year, but warned against efforts to
``internationalise'' the process in the United Nations General Assembly.
Cambodian officials Thursday met Hans Correl, UN deputy secretary-general
for legal affairs. Hun Sen said that Correl had ``positive'' comments on the
draft law that would establish a Khmer Rouge tribunal.
The proposal, which was expected to be passed by the council of ministers,
would set up a special mixed Cambodian-international tribunal to try leaders
of the brutal regime under which an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians died.
However, no deal had been made yet between Cambodian and the UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan was mulling the latest model for a mixed
tribunal, which would be the first of its kind. The draft law allows for a
minority of internationally appointed judges and two co-prosecutors, one
Cambodian and one foreign.
It appeared to be written with concessions designed to encourage UN
participation, although Hun Sen said he would not accept a process that
would have to be approved by the full UN General Assembly of more than 100
nations.
``What the Cambodian government does not want is to have an agreement
between the UN and Cambodia that would go before the UN General Assembly.
That would lead to the internationalisation of a Cambodian issue,'' Hun Sen
told reporters. The prime minister, however, did not rule out a direct deal
with the UN Secretary-General's office that was reportedly in the works.
The Khmer Rouge's reign of terror is one of the worst mass human rights
violations of the century. A combination of Cold War politics and the
recently ended guerrilla war have prevented trials for nearly 20 years since
the regime was toppled. (DPA)
For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service
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