Junio 13, 2007

Judges clear way for genocide trials in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, June 13, 2007 (AFP) -
A panel of Cambodian and international judges Wednesday approved rules clearing the way for the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal to put suspects on trial for genocide.
The decision, which ends months of infighting, is the first concrete step toward prosecuting one of the worst genocides of the 20th century since court officials were sworn in last July.
"These rules will ensure us... fair and transparent trials," co-prosecutor Robert Petit told reporters, adding they had been adopted unanimously.
"Now that the rules are adopted, we can move forward."
The rules are essential because they govern every aspect of the tribunal's operations, but previous agreement had been held up because of wrangling over legal fees and other procedures.
The first trials of leaders of the 1970s regime had initially been expected this year.
However, the delays mean trials are unlikely to start before early 2008, officials say.

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