Nat’l Assembly May Put Off KR Trial Debate Until May

The National Assembly will delay debate on the law to establish a trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders, and lawmakers say they might not get to it by the end of the month.

The law was scheduled to be taken up by the Assembly’s legislative committee as early as Wednesday, but committee chairman Monh Sophon said Sunday that the lawmakers are waiting for more input from the government’s executive branch.

Prime Minister Hun Sen re­turns today from Cuba, where he met with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan about the trial plan. Monh Sophon said the committee did not delay its discussion for the sake of the Cuba meeting, but he indicated that the committee will not proceed until members of the executive had time to contribute to the debate.

Sok An, chief of the executive’s cabinet, indicated earlier that the Assembly could proceed on its own—that any agreements be­tween the UN and the executive branch would not need to be included in the law.

But Hun Sen and Kofi Annan decided that a government team led by Sok An would again meet a UN team of experts, officials said over the weekend.

Monh Sophon said the committee will not proceed until it gets the go-ahead from Sok An. “I hope we will be able to review the law [soon],” he said.



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