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Supreme Council of Magistracy Chooses Jurists for Khmer Rouge Tribunal

The Supreme Council of Magistracy (SCM) has formally chosen judges and prosecutors for the Khmer Rouge tribunal.

The Supreme Council of Magistracy reportedly calls a meeting to vote on the list of those names, 30 prosecutors, 13 foreigners and 17 nationals, say government officials and SCM members.

The Minister of Justice and member of SCM, Ang Vong Vatana says that King Sihamoni did not elaborate on the selection, saying the candidates should be adopted.

One jurist from the international side was changed, and the Cambodian side is waiting to receive the name of the substitute.

The UN and Cambodia agreed to set up a Khmer Rouge tribunal in 2003 and spend more than 56 million dollars on it.

Top tribunal administrator Sean Visoth says that after the announcement of the names, he and deputy administrator Michele Lee will invite the judges and prosecutors to a swearing in ceremony in June and there will be workshops so they can get to know one another.

He says that the jurists will discuss the work to be fulfilled.

Mr. Youk Chhang, head of the Documentation Center of Cambodia which compiled documents on Khmer rouge atrocities says he wants the tribunal to be independent.

Executive-director of Cambodian Defenders Project Sok Sam Oeun says that the Khmer people have no faith in the Cambodian justice system and he asks the government to have training sessions and workshops to strengthen the Khmer jurists' capacity.

The Cambodian people have been waiting for such tribunal more than 3 decades.