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The BBC's Mark Devenport
"The UN's involvement is vital to give the trials international credibility"
 real 28k

Thursday, 6 July, 2000, 22:07 GMT 23:07 UK
Khmer Rouge genocide deal
Victims' skulls
Up to 2 million Cambodians died under the Khmer Rouge
The United Nations and Cambodia have reached a provisional deal on genocide trials for former Khmer Rouge leaders.

The deal came after two days of talks between Cambodian officials and UN chief lawyer Hans Corell.

The brutal Khmer Rouge regime, led by the late Pol Pot, is believed to have been responsible for as many as two million deaths in the 1970s.

Ta Mok
Ta Mok - nicknamed the Butcher - is awaiting trial

The draft agreement and new laws paving the way for the trials will now be debated by Cambodia's parliament next week.

Only if the agreement is passed by the parliament - where some opposition is expected - can it be signed by the UN and Cambodia.

Any Khmer Rouge figures facing the genocide charges would be put on trial in a Cambodian court with the participation of international judges and prosecutors.


Negotiations over the trials had been deadlocked for months, over Cambodian concerns that the foreign judges and prosecutors would override Cambodian sovereignty.

Khmer Rouge leaders
Pol Pot - died in 1998
Ta Mok - the Butcher - captured and awaiting trial
Kang Kek - chief executioner - in jail awaiting trial
Ieng Sary - foreign minister - pardoned
Nuon Chea - chief political theorist and "Brother Number Two" - at liberty
Khieu Samphan - public apologist - at liberty

Some resistance to the new deal could still come from the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP), which includes former Khmer Rouge officials.

Some of them are thought to be concerned they might be targeted by the tribunal.

To date, no Khmer Rouge members have been made to stand trial for their alleged crimes.

It is thought up to 30 men, many in their 70s, could be brought before the tribunal if the legislation goes through.

The leader of the brutal regime, Pol Pot, died in 1998.

But he is survived by a number of other senior Khmer Rouge figures who have been implicated in crimes against humanity.

Hans Correll
Hans Corell: Deal after two days of talks

One of Pol Pot's most ruthless commanders, Ta Mok - nicknamed "The Butcher" - and chief executioner Kang Kek Ieu are being held in jail pending trial.

The regime's former Foreign Minister Ieng Sary has been granted amnesty by Cambodia's King Norodom Sihanouk.

Other surviving senior leaders include Nuon Chea, who was known as Brother Number Two, and the movement's public face, Khieu Samphan.

Many other former leaders live peacefully in the town of Pailin, near the Thai border.

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See also:

14 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
Masters of the killing fields
16 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
25 years since 'Year Zero'
25 Jul 98 | Cambodia
Pol Pot: Life of a tyrant
22 Mar 00 | Asia-Pacific
Deadlock in Khmer trial talks
13 Feb 00 | Asia-Pacific
UN seeks Cambodia court deal
17 Nov 98 | Asia-Pacific
UN tries to bring Khmer Rouge to justice
17 Apr 98 | Asia-Pacific
Pol Pot's death confirmed
14 May 99 | Asia-Pacific
Cambodia's chief executioner charged
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