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Tribunal Officials Discuss Duch Trial

Evidence and witnesses were the main topics of discussion among Khmer Rouge tribunal officials and attorneys in meetings Thursday, with a trial date for prison chief Duch to be decided Friday, officials said.

The main point of Thursday’s meeting was to give an opportunity to all parties to discuss the upcoming trial, tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath said.

Officials and lawyers also discussed technicalities over witnesses, including where they would be kept and what they would receive, Reach Sambath said.

“This is a good step forward toward the hearing, expected for sure in March,” he said.

Hong Kim Suon, a lawyer for civil parties, said the talks on Thursday were technical in nature and there had been no arguments.

“We discussed only how to prepare for the trial, especially for old witnesses and new witnesses,” he said. “Old witnesses have been recognized already during the investigation stage, but new witnesses must be submitted to the Trial Chamber 15 days after civil parties are informed.”

Evidence lists must also be submitted to the Trial Chamber 15 days after civil parties are notified, he said.

Other issues will be discussed tomorrow, including the exact date for the hearing of Duch, or Kaing Kek Iev, 66, who faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role as chief of Tuol Sleng prison.

His trial will be the first held by the beleaguered tribunal, which stood up in 2006 but has faced numerous delays and is currently addressing allegations of mismanagement and corruption.