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Tribunal Verdict Won’t Please All Sides, Official Warns


Aging leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan are facing atrocities crimes charges in two phases of a trial that was broken apart to expedite the process.

Aging leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan are facing atrocities crimes charges in two phases of a trial that was broken apart to expedite the process.

As Cambodia waits for a verdict in the first phase of a trial of two Khmer Rouge leaders, a spokesman for the UN-backed tribunal says it may not please everyone.

Aging leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan are facing atrocities crimes charges in two phases of a trial that was broken apart to expedite the process. The verdict in the first phase, completed last year, is expected Aug. 7.

Tribunal spokesman Neth Pheaktra told “Hello VOA” on Thursday it is impossible for a verdict to be acceptable to “all sides,” but any decision can be appealed. But he says no matter what, the tribunal process has helped victims of the regime.

“What we have tried to do is allow them to break the silence and tell their stories to reduce their suffering,” he said.

Reparations will be announced alongside the verdict, he said, in another effort to ally the suffering of Khmer Rouge survivors.

Five judges are examining the evidence and going over witness testimony to make their decision according to due process of law, he said.

Latt Ky, a tribunal monitor for the rights group Adhoc, told “Hello VOA” that the tribunal holds some lessons for the judicial process and the idea of justice. That means no quick verdict or imprisonment, he said.

Collective reparations can be helpful, he said, but he added that some victims are now seeking individual reparations from the two leaders.

Meanwhile, the court will also likely not delve into the international dimensions of the Khmer Rouge, particularly the roles of China and Vietnam in supporting the regime.

Neth Pheaktra said the tribunal limited its scope to make trials manageable.

“The establishment of the court is not to destroy peace or create war,” he said. “The establishment of the court was to maintain peace and give justice to the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime.”

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