Friday, December 09, 2005

Cambodia talks underway to establish timetable for war crimes trials

Last Updated 08/12/2005, 21:23:44

Talks are underway in Cambodia to establish a timetable for the long-stalled start of United Nations war crimes trials for surviving members of the Khmer Rouge regime. Our South East Asia correspondent, Peter Lloyd, says international donors are becoming increasingly concerned at delays in commencing the prosecutions.

A seven-member UN delegation is currently in Cambodia to meet with the Cambodian government's Khmer Rouge trial team, plus diplomats and local campaigners. Discussions will centre on logistics, staffing and the feasibility of the proposed tribunal venue.

The trials for genocide and crimes against humanity will be carried out under the jurisdiction of the Cambodian court system with help from the international community.

Attempts to open the trials before remaining Khmer Rouge leaders die of old age have been hampered by Cambodia's inability to find donors to help finance its share of the tribunal costs.

The UN side expects to select foreign judges for the tribunal this week.

The radical Maoist Khmer Rouge regime, which ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, is blamed for the deaths of up to two million people by execution, starvation and excessive work.


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