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Tribunal Solicits Public Complaints in Duch Case

The Khmer Rouge tribunal Tuesday opened its doors to public opinion for or against Kaing Khek Iev, the former Khmer Rouge torture center director known as Duch, in the clearest indication yet as to what victim participation might look like in trials to come.

The tribunal said "organizations and the public" could submit auxiliary briefs of no more than 30 pages to the office of the pre-trial chamber of the special courts within 30 days in order to add comments and testimony for consideration by tribunal jurists.

Tuesday's announcement was the first call for public participation in a tribunal that has been bedeviled by complications.

Victim's so far have had difficulty finding audience for complaints, and the courts have so far failed to establish a Victim's Unit.

It was unclear what types of auxiliary briefs the call would bring.

Although a hearing has not been scheduled for Duch, tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath said Tuesday a public hearing will be held later this year to determine whether Duch should be kept in detention ahead of his trial.

Duch is the only former Khmer Rouge leader is custody. His lawyers have submitted a request to the courts asking that he be released while his case is investigated.