UN Chief to Get Trial Report

A panel of legal experts is expected to deliver recommendations today to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on whether and how to set up an international tribunal to try Khmer Rouge leaders for crimes against humanity.

The head of the government’s human rights commission, however, said he still has not been given a date for the government to receive the anxiously-awaited report.

“We don’t know anything. We just wait,” Om Yentieng said Sunday.

Om Yentieng said on Sunday he called officials from the Phnom Penh office for the UN human rights office and asked when he could get a copy of the recommendations, but they said they did not know.

“They said they will ask the UN headquarters,” he said.

Annan is likely to take at least a week, perhaps two, to study the report before delivering it to the government, according to those familiar with the process. The report is supposed to be in the government’s hands for two weeks before being released to the public.

The recommendations have been eagerly anticipated, especially since the defections of senior Khmer Rouge cadre Khieu Sam­phan and Nuon Chea. Both are considered prime candidates to appear before any tribunal of Khmer Rouge crimes.

An estimated 1.7 million Cam­bodians are believed to have died of execution, exhaustion from forced labor, disease and hunger during the Khmer Rouge’s totalitarian, radical-Maoist regime in the late 1970s.



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