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Tribunal a Symbol of Justice: Expert

Defense teams for senior Khmer Rouge leaders still have the right motion for a cancellation of genocide charges brought last week, a tribunal expert said Monday.

“They have the right to file a suite to the Pre-Trial Chamber to remove the new charge,” said Hisham Mousar, chief of the Project of French Cooperation, at the Royal University of Law and Economics.

The additional genocide charge was added to those of war crimes and crimes against humanity originally brought against Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith.

The charges were added for the alleged mass killings of Chams and Vietnamese under the Khmer Rouge. All four are in tribunal custody awaiting a joint trial, which is expected at the beginning of 2010.

The joint trial will ensure a “smooth legal procedure” for the UN-backed tribunal, which recently concluded a relatively simple trial for Kaing Kek Iev, or Duch, after more than six months, said Hisham Mousar, as a guest on “Hello VOA.”

The tribunal would not bring “100 percent” justice, he said, but it would act as a symbol of justice for future generations, with a message that atrocity crimes will be tried.