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Annual Reports Show Contradictions in Tribunal, Civic Leader Says

Yearly report cards from the official Khmer Rouge tribunal and an aid agency helping the proceedings contradict each other, but the government still could end up trying the aging leaders of the Khmer Rouge, a civic activist said Monday.

Seng Theary, executive director for the Center for Social Development, said the two annual reports showed very different pictures of a tribunal that has been mired from the get-go.

Since the adoption of the internal rules on June 12, Seng Theary said, the office of the co-prosecutors has not forwarded the initial submission of cases to the Office of the Co-Investigating Judges for full, independent investigation.

Meanwhile, almost one year has passed since the establishment of the tribunal, and still no one knows which Khmer Rouge leaders will be indicted, or how many, she said.

Tribunal officials recently published a report on their accomplishment during the first year of operation.

In June the Open Society for Justice Initiative published a report looking at critical needs of the tribunal. The group is still asking the tribunal to take immediate steps on "an array of issues."

Three callers shared the same concern: Will the tribunal be able to find justice for the Cambodian people?

Seng Theary said there was no doubt the Cambodian government would go through with the tribunal: to claim credit that it was bringing former Khmer Rouge leaders to justice.

However she questioned the will of the Cambodian government to deliver real justice.

The tribunal proceedings have so far been cloaked in too much secrecy, she said, as a guest on "Hello VOA."