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Cambodian, International Judges Meet to Resolve Khmer Rouge Tribunal Rules


International and Cambodian judges are holding talks in Phnom Penh to try to hammer out the rules of a U.N.-backed tribunal to prosecute the few surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime.

The judges opened the 10-day meeting today (Wednesday) hoping to resolve their differences over the regulations that will govern every aspect of the tribunal. They have been trying to reach a consensus since November.

The trials can not go forward without the rules, and many people worry that some of the elderly, ailing Khmer Rouge leaders could die while negotiators haggle over the regulations.

Prosecutors are expected to indict about 10 Cambodians accused of taking part in the genocide of nearly two-million people from 1975 to 1979.

Most of the victims died of overwork, starvation or execution at the hands of the ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge regime.

The United Nations and Cambodia agreed in 2003 to form the tribunal after nearly a decade of negotiations.

Some human rights groups say the process is already flawed because the tribunal is operating under the Cambodian judicial system, which is widely regarded as corrupt and susceptible to political influence.

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