The international group Lawyers Without Borders has made an
appeal for more victims of jailed Khmer Rouge prison chief Duch to come forward
with complaints for the tribunal, as Duch's trial approaches.
"It is necessary that victims express their rights at
this time in order not to be late because the first case [of investigation of
Duch] has been closed, and victims have until the end of July, 2008" to file
complaints, the group said in a statement Tuesday.
The investigation of charges against Duch closed May 15, the
first case of five accused Khmer Rogue leaders to be tried. No trial date has
Victims complaints lend "more credibility" to the
process, "by showing that the victims are concerned with the
tribunal," said Jean-Baptiste de Seze, coordinator of Lawyers Without
Borders in Cambodia.
"I believe there are only around 15 complaints against the first case, among
150,000 or 160,000 victims. That means the complaints are not many."
The courts have received more than 1,300 total complaints so far, said Keat Bophal, director of the Victim's Unit of the tribunal. Duch's case has received more than 10 complaints from civil
parties, she said.
"The participation of victims as civil parties is very
important, because they will not only provide the evidence to the courts, but
what they bring will be kept as a historical document related to the
Democratic Kampuchea regime," she said.
Lawyers Without Borders, which has 10 French and two
Cambodian lawyers in the country, is willing to help victims file their
complaints, de Seze said.