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Tribunal to Investigate More Former Leaders


The Khmer Rouge tribunal is prepared to pursue investigation of additional regime cadre, a prosecutor said, but no decision has been made on whom.

Officials have said in the past as many as 12 former Khmer Rouge leaders could be arrested and charged with atrocity crimes, but so far the tribunal is only holding five of the senior-most leaders.

Robert Petit, co-prosecutor for the tribunal, confirmed Friday that the courts were evaluating the preliminary investigation of more suspects.

"Regarding the nature of the crime committed here, and effectively based on the law and on evidence, [the tribunal] would have further investigations," he said. "We are now in the stage of preliminary investigation and the stage of the evaluation of evidence."

The investigations are being considered by the two prosecutors, but no decision has been made, he said.

"I cannot answer because the decision has not yet been made," he said, when asked how many more might be charged.

Petit said too the first trial of a Khmer Rouge suspect, for Kaing Khek Iev, alias Duch, would be held in September or October.

Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, said the courts would be more likely to find suspects for further investigation once trials of jailed leaders begin.

"We will see [more suspects] after the completion of the trials of the five first suspects," he said.

"I think if they charge more people now, it could turn the citizens' confidence on the court, because they could be confused," he said.

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