UN, Cambodia talks on Khmer Rouge court to restart next week

UN, Cambodia talks on Khmer Rouge court to restart next week

Hans Corell
Preliminary talks are slated to start next week between the United Nations and Cambodia on the establishment of a special court to try Khmer Rouge leaders, a UN spokesman said today.

Legal Counsel Hans Corell will lead the UN team, and Senior Minister Sok An, who is in charge of the Council of Ministers, is expected to head Cambodia's delegation to the talks, which are slated to start Monday morning at UN Headquarters in New York, spokesman Fred Eckhard said.

Last week, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen accepted an invitation by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to send a delegation to New York for an exploratory meeting to prepare for the resumption of negotiations on the special court.

In February 2002, the UN ended negotiations with Cambodia over the tribunal, saying the court as planned would not be fair and that the Government had rejected a proposed agreement governing the assistance that the UN would provide.

The UN had been in talks with the Cambodian Government for nearly five years to set up a special court to try former Khmer Rouge leaders for genocide and crimes against humanity committed between 1975-79. In 1999, Phnom Penh rejected a proposal by Mr. Annan for an international court and instead decided to establish a national tribunal with the participation of foreign judges and prosecutors.