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Tribunal Hopes To Wrap Up Trial in Coming Months

  • Kong Sothanarith
  • VOA Khmer

FILE - In this file photo released by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, court officers of the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal are seen through windows during a hearing of former Khmer Rouge top leaders in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

FILE - In this file photo released by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, court officers of the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal are seen through windows during a hearing of former Khmer Rouge top leaders in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

PHNOM PENH - The UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal could complete its second case against aging leaders of the regime in the next two months, a spokesman for the court said Monday.

A verdict in the atrocity crimes trial for leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan will likely not be issued until the first quarter of 2014, the spokesman, Neth Pheaktra, told “Hello VOA.”

The case against the two men has so far seen 198 days of hearings and the participation of 91 experts, victims and witnesses, he said. Those hearings will end in July or August, with a first verdict expected in the “first quarter” of next year, he said.

However, court observers say they are skeptical of a court that has seen routine delays and completed just one trial since 2006.

Long Panhavuth, a program officer for the Open Society Initiative Cambodia, said it remains “unclear” whether the tribunal can stay on schedule. And he said the court has failed to provide adequate information to the public or to the victims.


Meanwhile, callers to “Hello VOA” questioned whether the court could provide true justice, especially while leaders continue to deny responsibility for the crimes of the Khmer Rouge.

“There are many kinds of justice for each person,” Neth Pheaktra said. “But more people need to join the process of the court.”
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