UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has submitted a list of 12 international judges and legal experts to Prime Minister Hun Sen as nominees to serve on the Khmer Rouge tribunal, the UN announced late Wednesday.
The list includes seven nominees for the five international judge positions in the Khmer Rouge trial and appeals court.
The Supreme Council of Magistracy will select the final judges and prosecutors from Annan’s list.
A UN statement said Annan has asked Hun Sen to now transmit the list of Cambodian judge and prosecutor nominees to the Supreme Council for selection.
Khmer Rouge tribunal press officer Reach Sambath said Thursday that the tribunal would decide whether to make the list public at a later date. “Right now we consider it a private matter,” he said.
Reach Sambath said it will be up to the Supreme Council of Magistracy to determine when it will release the final list.
“Everyone wants to see this trial happen as soon as possible,” he said, adding that tribunal staff expect the selection will be made by May.
Supreme Council of Magistracy member and Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana said once the Cambodian nominees are forwarded from the tribunal task force, the council will move quickly.
“It will not be long, it can’t be delayed for a long time,” he said.
Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, said he was not concerned about the list of nominees being kept secret for now.
He added that there are no shortage of Cambodians qualified to serve on the tribunal, but that many may not want to.
“Due to the highly sensitive nature of the trial and because they are comfortable in the current positions, many may not want to,” he said.