The Khmer Rouge tribunal announced Monday it will have an initial hearing for four regime leaders in detention on June 27, paving the way for its second trial ever.
The four-day hearing into Case 002 will be to consider the number of witnesses and experts who will participate in the trial, preliminary objections and possible reparations for victims, said Nil Nonn, head of the tribunal’s Trial Chamber.
The Trial Chamber will consider 1,094 witnesses, experts and civil party applicants. So far, more than 2,000 alleged victims of the regime have applied to take part in the trial, but that number will be winnowed down by the June hearings, after which the participants will be put together in groups to be jointly represented at trial.
Full trial hearings for leaders Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith could start as soon as August, he said.
The four are facing atrocity crimes charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
“It’s a crucial, historical case for the Khmer Rouge tribunal,” government spokesman Phay Siphan said. “The government highly appreciates the efforts of the Khmer Rouge tribunal.”
Chhang Youk, director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, which has done instrumental research for the tribunal, said Monday’s announcement marked the beginning of the trial.
He too called the trials “historical,” adding, “the Cambodian people should follow it and observe.”