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Tribunal Calls for More Victims to File

Khmer Rouge tribunal officials on Tuesday called for more people to come forward to file complaints against jailed Khmer Rouge prison chief Duch.

The call, from the tribunals Victims Unit, comes as Duch, also known as Kaing Kek Iev, prepares for the initial hearing of his trial on Feb. 17.

Trial Chamber judges on Monday decided victims would be able to continue to file complaints to the Victims Unit in Duch’s case up until Feb. 2.

In order to encourage more complaints the Victims Unit said her unit would work during weekends, the unit’s director, Keat Bophal, said.

“We will have a team working Saturday and Sunday to provide a facility to victims who want assistance in the process,” she said.

The filing of complaints at this stage is important for people who want make a claim for compensation and participate in the procedures of the court, Keat Bophal said.

As Duch’s initial hearing approaches, the Victims Unit has so far received more than 100 complaints, more than 70 of which are from civil parties.

More than 20 are simple complaints from people who have signed on as a civil party. (Civil parties have lawyers and participate in the entire process of the tribunal.)

Hong Kim Suon, a lawyer for civil parties, said Tuesday the preparation of the Victims Unit was good, but its outreach was still lacking.

People can only file complaints if they understand the procedure, he said.

“Participation in the civil party proceedings is not only for justice, but also to remind victims who have died already that we are struggling for their justice,” he said