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Jurists Reviewing Tribunal Rules 'One by One'

A meeting to jump-start the Khmer Rouge tribunal has meant careful scrutiny of more than 100 internal rules, jurists said Thursday, with both sides voicing more optimism than during past meetings.

Cambodian and UN-appointed judges and prosecutors began a series of meetings this week to find agreement on each of the rules so that a tribunal can be held.

French judge Marcel Lemonde said a number of important points were being discussed again, but talks were "on a good track."

Cambodian judge You Bunleng said the meetings were now just a matter of technical discussions.

"It does not look like there is any tension," he said.

Cambodian prosecutor Chea Leang said she was hopeful following "many understandings."

Both sides seemed ready to agree this time, Kek Galabru, founder of the rights group Licadho, said.

"They told us it is OK this time," she said. "Maybe there will be no problem."

Similar meetings have failed to reach full agreement on the rules, which are imperative for the functioning of the courts.

The latest round of talks only became possible after the Cambodian Bar Association relented on high fees for the participation of foreign lawyers, which had caused the UN-appointed international jurists to cancel a meeting at the end of May.