By Kong Sothanarith, VOA Khmer
Original report from Phnom Penh
02 February 2010
Trial judges for the Khmer Rouge tribunal are now considering their verdict for prison chief Kaing Kek Iev, whose trial wrapped up late last year, court officials said Tuesday.
Tribunal judges and other officials began a week of plenary sessions Tuesday, with renewed focus on the tribunal’s efficiency, including in the verdict of Kaing Kek Iev, or Duch, officials said.
“The trial chamber currently is preparing the verdict,” said Kong Srim, president of the tribunal’s Supreme Court Chamber and head of the plenary session. No date for the verdict has been set.
Kong Srim said the court was facing “many challenges” in meeting its timeframe, but officials had “a new determination” to provide justice “on time and with efficiency.”
“These trials will continue to be fair and transparent, not only for the accused, but also for the thousands of victims,” said judge Silvia Cartwright, vice president of the plenary session, in opening remarks.
Tribunal officials meet for plenary sessions twice a year, and this session they are also expected to address the level of participation allowed for civil party lawyers, who represent victims of the regime in a bid for greater reconciliation from the trials.
Officials will consider whether the rules should restrict access to hearings for all civil party lawyers, who could then choose limited representatives, a move the civil parties oppose.
In their opening statement Kong Srim and Cartwright said a representative model would “strengthen the participation of the victims.”
Lars Olsen, a spokesman for the tribunal, said judges would make their decision at the end of a weeklong discussion.
On Tuesday, USprosecutor Andrew Cayley and French reserve prosecutor Nicholas Koumjian were sworn in as tribunal jurists. Cayley replaces Canadian prosecutor Robert Petit, who left the court in September after advocating for more arrests and indictments.