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Etcheson, Chanda to be called on by ECCC

Etcheson, Chanda to be called on by ECCC

CAMBODIA'S war crimes court is to hear from Khmer Rouge specialists Craig Etcheson and Nayan Chanda, along with other experts and key witnesses, when the trial of Tuol Sleng prison commandant Kaing Guek Eav continues on May 18, a new court schedule released Monday stated.

Etcheson, one of the founders of the Documentation Centre of Cambodia (DC-Cam) and author of The Rise and Demise of Democratic Kampuchea, is to answer questions relating to the implementation of the regime's policy at S-21.

Chanda, a correspondent for the Hong Kong-based Far Eastern Economic Review during the war in Vietnam, is to be called on after June 8 regarding the issue of armed conflict.

The trial is to then continue on to hear from other witnesses in relation to the functioning of S-21, including Cheoung Ek.

Though the court has been criticised for proceeding at a slow pace, a weekly monitoring summary by the Asian International Justice Initiative claimed on Monday that the chamber had made "efforts to expedite proceedings".

However, legal observers remained sceptical last week, saying that time was still being mismanaged, often to the disadvantage of civil parties.

"There are four teams each pursuing their own strategies, and they often don't agree with each other's approach," said Anne Heindel, a legal adviser for DC-Cam.   

"This - unfairly - may be creating a bad impression of the civil parties themselves, and if not addressed, could lead people to question the appropriate scope of victim participation in mass crimes trials at the ECCC and elsewhere."

The trial will be taking another recess on the first week of June.

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