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Tribunal Jurists Expect Breakthrough in New Round of Talks


International and Cambodian jurists said Monday they expected a breakthrough and that the Khmer Rouge tribunal would proceed.

Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath said both sides were "highly determined" to put the tribunal on course, after lengthy delays that have threatened to sink the tribunal altogether. "They will make the procedure go forward properly and fairly and quickly."

A representative for the international, UN-appointed judges, Sylvia Cartwright, said the group felt the "weight of responsibility" in the tribunal and were working to "serve the interests of justice for the people of Cambodia."

The tribunal so far has been bedeviled by details, and some observers warn the process is not yet in the clear. Too much delay, they say, will cause the tribunal to collapse under its own three-year time limit.

Cambodian and international jurists failed in March to proclaim complete success in discussions over internal rules for the tribunal. Further talks were stalled when the Cambodian Bar Association set fees for foreign lawyers that were so high international judges feared watered-down trials. Ultimately, the bar association relented, paving the way for this round of talks.

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