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Victims Kept Out of Tribunal Process, Rights Investigator Warns

The Khmer Rouge tribunal has indicted two leaders of the regime, but it has failed to provide avenues for victims to be part of the process, a key mandate of the special courts, a rights investigator said Monday.

The tribunal has failed administratively in addressing the rights of victims, in finding ways in which they can participate and in deciding how they might be compensated, Hisham Mousar, an legal expert for the rights group Adhoc, said as a guest on "Hello VOA."

Victims will only have six months to file their own complaints or additions to the cases against detained commander Nuon Chea or torture center chief Duch, but so far the process has been unclear, he said.

There is no publication and has been no clear instruction from the tribunal offices, Hisham Mousar said. As a result, the trials may not see participation of any victims, he said.

"Duch's case might be the first trial, in February 2008," he said. Duch, who real name was Kaing Khek Iev, oversaw the Tuol Sleng center in Phnom Penh, where as many as 16,000 Cambodians were tortured and executed.

Nuon Chea, a chief ideologue of the regime, has been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

He will not be charged with genocide, Hisham Mousar said.