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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - KRT moves forward with key amendments

KRT moves forward with key amendments

AFTER a week of discussions at the

fourth biannual plenary session of judges, amendments to the Internal

Rules of the Khmer Rouge tribunal have been greeted with muted praise

by key officials at the UN-backed court, while prompting angered

responses from the defence.

"The amendments will help the court to move faster to deliver

justice to the victims," court spokesperson Reach Sambath told the Post


The amendments, made at last week's meeting, include new provisions

on civil-party participation and restrictions on the scope of appeal

for the accused.

This sparked a sharp rebuke from the court's defence support

section, which claimed defendants at the UN-backed tribunal now have a

"more limited right of appeal than at any other trial court in

Cambodia", according acting head of defence Richard Rogers.

But the court's investigating judges told the Post Sunday that the

main considerations of the amendments were to expedite the judicial

process while preserving victim participation. 

"The most important amendment is our effort to make the role of

civil parties participating in the tribunal [easier] and to facilitate

a faster process for the tribunal as a whole," said co-investigating

judge You Bun Leng.

Victims advocates, however, say requirements

that civil parties might have to file group complaints under a single

lawyer limit their voice at the court.

"The rights of victims have been restricted," said Terith Chy, of

the Victims Participation Unit at the Documentation Center of Cambodia




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