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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Judges for Khmer Rouge trial named

Judges for Khmer Rouge trial named

The long-awaited trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders took a crucial step forward

on May 4 as the Supreme Council of Magistracy, headed by King Norodom Sihamoni, selected

the Cambodian and United Nations judges, prosecutors and investigating judges who

will preside over the genocide tribunal.

Following hours of deliberation, the Supreme Council of Magistracy decided upon its

final list of judicial officers, said Helen Jarvis, adviser to the office of the

Council of Ministers.

Officially, the names have not yet been made public - this will come only when the

King has signed a Royal Decree on the appointments - but a copy obtained by the Post

was confirmed to be accurate by tribunal spokesman Peter Foster.

"Although we do not have the names of the judges," he said. "We have

been told it will not be different from that leaked this morning."

Information released by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)

on May 4 described the selection of judges as "a highly anticipated milestone"

in the trial's development.

According to the news release, the appointments have sent "a clear signal to

the people of Cambodia and members of the international community that the United

Nations and Royal Government of Cambodia are firmly committed to the judicial process."

The nine member Council of Magistracy, headed by King Sihamoni, unanimously agreed

on the final candidates, said Council member and Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana.

In a telephone interview after the meeting, Vathana said it had been difficult to

select the lists of international and national judges.

"We didn't know the international judges," he said. "But we knew the

Cambodian candidates."

In the run-up to the trial, some observers have expressed concern that the inclusion

of Cambodian judges would jeopardize the trial.

The Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee urged the Supreme Council of Magistracy

on May 2 to take great care in its selection of Cambodian candidates.

According to the ECCC, the selection process for national positions included a thorough

investigation into each candidate's professionalism, integrity and impartiality.

Vathana said he was confident "the Cambodian judges selected have the ability

they need to perform their roles."

The selection of judges marks an acceleration in the trial's progress. Although the

actual trials will not start until early 2007, preliminary legal procedures will

commence following the arrival and swearing in of all judicial officers, which Jarvis

said was expected in the first week of June.

"The first to arrive will be the co-prosecutors and then the co-investigating

judges," said Jarvis. "The legal process [in the form of] a preliminary

request for indictments, will start then."

Khmer Rouge trial judicial officers

Judges in the Lower Court:

1 Mr Nil Non

2 Mr Thou Mony

3 Mr Ya Sokhorn

4 Mr You Udtara (Reserved)

Judges in the Supreme Court:

1 HE Kong Srim

2 Soam Serewat

3 Sin Narith

4 Ya Narin

5 Mong Mony Chakriya (Reserved)

Co-Investigating Judges

1 Mr You Bunleng

2 Mr Thong Ol (Reserved)

3 Mr Din Seyvuthy (Reserved)

Co-Prosecutors

1 Mrs Chea Leang

2 HE Chuon Sunleng (Reserved)

Pre-Trial Chamber

1 HE Prak Kimsan

2 HE Ney Thol

3 Mr Huot Vuthy

4 Mr Pen Pichsaly (Reserved)

International Judges and Prosecutors:

Judges in the Lower Court:

1 Dame Silvia CARTWRIGHT (New Zealand)

2 Mr Jean-Marc LAVERGNE (France)

3 Ms Claudia FENZ (Austria)-Reserved

Judges in the Supreme Court:

1 Mr Motoo NOGUCHI (Japan)

2 Ms Agnieska KLONOWIECKA-MILART (Poland)

3 Mr Chandra Nihal JAYASINGHE (Sri Lanka)

4 Mr Martin KAROPKIN (U.S.A)-Reserved

Co-Investigating Judges:

1 Mr Marcel LEMONDE (France)

2 (To Be Announced)-Reserved

Co-Prosecutors:

1 Mr Robert PETIT (Canada)

2 Mr Paul COFFEY (USA)-Reserved

Pre-Trial Chamber:

1 Mr Rowan DOWNING

2 Ms Katinka LAHUIS

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