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Head of Rights Center Addresses Tribunal Crisis on 'Hello VOA'


Seng Theary, executive director of the Center for Social Development, took questions from "Hello VOA" callers Thursday, over the Khmer Rouge tribunal, which is facing its worst crisis since its inception.

International judges canceled a meeting Tuesday with their Cambodian counterparts over foreign lawyer fees—as much as $4,900 for the first year—the Cambodian Bar Association refuses to relinquish.

The cancellation pushed back decisions on internal rules critical to the running of a tribunal, which runs the risk of collapsing under its own three-year time limit.

Seng Theary appealed to the bar to work with UN-appointed judges so that a tribunal can move forward.

Attempts by "Hello VOA" Thursday to reach Ky Tech, president of the Cambodian Bar Association, went unanswered.

Several "Hello VOA" callers asked a question at the front of the minds of many observers: whether the Cambodian government was actually willing to move a tribunal forward.

Many believe the government has been reticent, as some high-ranking officials had ties to the Khmer Rouge, and China is reluctant to see its own role in supporting the murderous regime brought forward.

One woman called in to say her father and many relatives had died under the Khmer Rouge, and she was waiting to see "justice."

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