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Khmer Rouge Trial Scheduled for March 2011: Official

The UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal is in the midst of investigating its second case of former regime leaders.

That case, No. 002, could be followed by two more, potentially leading to more indictments. Meanwhile, the tribunal continues to seek funding from donors for its operations.

In an exclusive interview with VOA Khmer, Knut Rosenhaug, the UN’s top administrator for the tribunal, said Case No. 002 could go to public trial by March 2011.

That case will try Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith.

The closing order, which signals the end of the investigation, is expected in September, leading the way for the 2011 trial. Rosenhaug said the trial could last through the third quarter of 2012.

Meanwhile, two more cases are now at the office of investigating judges, following split decisions between Cambodian and international judges. Cambodian officials say further indictments could rupture the peace brokered with the Khmer Rouge in the 1990s.

Rosenhaug said the cases will be resolved within the office of the investigating judges. A judge who disagrees with the indictments will have to file with the Pre-Trial Chamber of the court, but even then an investigation can continue under one judge.

Disagreements between judges were not a concern of the administration, he said.

“The judges have the ability to make this decision, and they can exercise their rights according to free will,” he said. “So we will support the judges accordingly. That means the judicial process is on track.”

Whether cases Nos. 003 and 004 come to indictment and trial remain open questions.

However, Rosenhaug said a fifth case is not expected.

“As far as I understand it, the co-prosecutors have stated that they will not file anymore cases,” he said. “And the whole court will wrap up in 2015.”