A second review of the draft law to try Khmer Rouge leaders has not yet been scheduled on the agenda of the National Assembly, which will convene May 2, Chan Ven, deputy secretary-general for the National Assembly, said Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hun Sen said he wants to keep the bones of Khmer Rouge victims as evidence for a planned trial of cadre leaders, after which the fate of the remains can be decided by a public referendum.
The Khmer Rouge law is still being examined by the Council of Jurists, which received the measure for a second time on Feb 19. The draft law must go through another round of review after the Constitutional Council cited technical errors in the law that refer to the death penalty, which doesn’t legally exist in Cambodia.
Chan Ven said the only items scheduled on the parliament’s agenda so far are measures having to do with investment.
Hun Sen said in a speech given in Kompong Chhnang province that the law will be debated a second time by the Council of Ministers before June, after which the law will be passed on to the National Assembly.
Hun Sen also said the bones at the “Killing Fields” and other areas need to be maintained to be submitted as evidence for a Khmer Rouge trial.
Cambodians living here and abroad, however, have called for the bones to be cremated so the souls of those who died can be laid to rest in a Buddhist ceremony.
“In the 1980s, [Khmer Rouge leaders] Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea said…Hun Sen made artificial skulls like the Hollywood movie does,” the prime minister said. “Please, the souls of those who died by the barbarous acts of the Khmer Rouge understand me. I preserve your bones to only find justice for you.”
After a trial is held, a public referendum will be held to decide whether the bones should be maintained or cremated, Hun Sen said.
Hun Sen also mentioned relatives who died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, including his uncle and cousins, whom the prime minister said were killed by cadre leader Ke Pauk, who lives in the former Khmer Rouge stronghold of Anlong Veng.
“I do not take revenge against him because it is up to the court,” Hun Sen said.