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King Sihamoni Names Khmer Rouge Tribunal Administrator

Cambodia King Sihamoni on Thursday named Sean Visoth as the director of the Office of Administration to serve the Extraordinary Chambers, the pre-trial chambers, the co-investigating judges, and the prosecutor's office of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

In a royal decree, the King approved the appointment of Sean Visoth. Under the 2003 UN-Cambodian agreement, the Cambodian government is to appoint the director of the Office of Administration whereas the UN is responsible for appointing the deputy director.

In late August the United Nations announced the selection of Michelle Lee as the deputy director to coordinate UN assistance to the tribunal to put aging Khmer Rouge leaders on trial for genocide and crimes against humanity.

The Khmer Rouge regime is blamed for the death of an estimated 1.7 million people when they were in power between 1975 and 1979.

Mr. Sean used to hold positions at the cabinet office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Supreme National Council Secretariat.

In the same royal decree, Mr. Hem Kranh Tony, deputy secretary of the Cabinet office was appointed director of the Pre-Trial Chamber.

The U.N. and the Cambodian govenment are choosing justice officials, judges, co-investigative judges, and co-prosecutors to create the Extraordinary Chambers for the Khmer Rouge tribunal.

Michelle Lee will lead the U.N. delegation to Phnom Penh in early December to access the situation on the ground and to discuss it with the government task force.

The United Nations has agreed to help cambodia set up a trial court to prosecute former officals of the Khmer Rouge era. An estimated 1.7 million Cambodians died from starvation, overwork and execution from 1975-1979 when the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, ruled the country.

Pol Pot died in the jungle along the Cambodian-Thai border in 1998. Until now no member of the Khmer Rouge regime has been tried for crimes against humanity. Only two are in jail awaiting trial: Ta Mok, commander of the regime, and Duch, the infamous Tuol Sleng prison director.