Former Cambodian Leaders to Face Trial





Twenty-seven years after the Khmer Rouge leadership was driven from power, some of its top figures may soon be put on trial for causing the deaths of nearly one-fourth of the Cambodian population.

Under an agreement between the United Nations and the government here, a special authority is preparing a courtroom and hiring staff and technical experts. In February, the head of a United Nations administrative team is expected to arrive and set up shop. Both Cambodia and the United Nations are selecting judges and prosecutors for an international tribunal.

Diplomats and analysts who have been skeptical during nearly a decade of negotiations and delays now expect to see some measure of judicial accounting for the 1.7 million people who lost their lives from 1975 to 1979.

"From a technical point of view, we are almost there," said Craig Etcheson, an expert on the Khmer Rouge who has been studying evidence that will be used at the trial. "I guess it's what you might call a rolling start."



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