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Tribunal Limits Civil Party Participation

The Khmer Rouge tribunal will officially limit the participation of civil parties in upcoming trials, in an effort to streamline court procedures.

"In future trials, civil parties will form a consolidated group and pursue a single claim for reparations," the UN-backed court said in a statement Tuesday, at the end of a plenary session for court judges, prosecutors and other officials.

The decision was made to address "shortcomings" of the court's first trial, of prison chief Kaing Kek Iev, where the participation of multiple civil parties made procedures unwieldy.

The tribunal was designed to add victim participation in the form of civil parties, which participate alongside the defense and prosecution.

The new rules create two lead lawyers to coordinate with all civil party lawyers and victims themselves ahead of trials.

"Civil Party Lawyers may agree to support the Lead Co-Lawyers in the representation of the interests of the consolidated group," the tribunal statement said. "Such support, which will be coordinated by the Lead Co-Lawyers, may include oral and written submissions by Civil Party Lawyers, as well as examination in court of witnesses and their clients."