'Killing fields' trials step closer as tribunal rules agreed





PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- The trials of surviving Khmer Rouge leaders moved a big step closer on Friday as international and Cambodian judges said they had finally agreed on the rules of the tribunal.

"The review committee discussed in exhaustive detail many points and resolved all remaining disagreements, although some fine tuning remains to be done," they said in a statement at the end of 10 days of talks.

Disagreements which had held up the start of the tribunal, set up last year by Cambodia and the United Nations, ranged from admissibility of evidence and witness protection to the height of the judges' chairs.

The statement gave few details of what the agreement entailed, but it appeared to have ended what diplomats said was the threat of the U.N. side to walk away from trials expected to take three years and cost $53 million.


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