Saturday, November 26, 2005

Oav CagoTop administrators for Khmer Rouge trial appointed

Kyodo, November 24, 2005

By Puy Kea

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 24 KYODO--Two top administrators for a planned tribunal to try former Khmer Rouge leaders in Cambodia have been officially appointed by the king, the government announced Thursday.

King Norodom Sihamoni appointed Sean Visoth as director of the office of administration of the Extraordinary Chamber and Michel Lee, a U.N. employee, as deputy director, a position to which she was appointed on Oct. 14 by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the government said in a statement.

Sean Visoth, who has held a number of senior government posts, said the appointment means the component for the long-awaited trial is in place and he is ready to fulfill this job and is committed to helping ensure the court's process will meet international standards.

The United Nations and Cambodia are now in the process of selecting judicial officers such as judges, co-investigating judges and co-prosecutors.

Lee is expected to lead a U.N. startup assessment mission to Cambodia in early December to discuss details of the establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers over the coming months, Sean Visoth said.

In the statement, Cambodia reiterated the necessary moves will begin only after sufficient funds have been pledged and that Cambodia has appealed to foreign governments to help meet a shortfall of the budget to be borne by the Cambodian side.

The United Nations has so far secured its needed $43 million budget, while Cambodia still lacks $10.8 million.

Cambodia and the United Nations have estimated $56.3 million is needed for a three-year trial.

Except supreme Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot who died in 1998, the top Khmer Rouge leaders -- Ieng Sary, Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea -- are in their late 70s and live freely in Cambodia.

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