Accessibility links

Breaking News

Tribunal Meeting Overlooks Major Set-Backs

In this photo released by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Judges and clerks of the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal are standing inside the court hall of the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2

Judges and other officials from the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal met in plenary session of the court Thursday, before proceeding with a trial for two jailed leaders.

There was no discussion of a lack of movement on two cases—Nos. 003 and 004—at the court, nor a discussion of at least one potential defendant’s refusal to answer a court summons. Both those issues are seen by observers as major set-backs for the court.

However, judges praised the progress made in the trial against two detained leaders, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, who are facing the final of two stages of an atrocity crimes trial.

Judge Kong Srim, head of the Supreme Court Chamber, called progress on that case “remarkable.” He touted the Aug. 7 guilty verdict against Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan and subsequent life sentence, handed down after the first phase of the trial, as a sign of the court’s achievement.

More than 100,000 Cambodians have come to see trial proceedings for the first phase of the trial, which was broken into parts for expediency, he said.

The second phase of the trial is slated to begin Friday.