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Up until this point, the Cambodian people have not received justice or closure for the heinous actions that took place during the Khmer Rouge reign. Already, leaders like Pol Pot and Ta Mok have escaped retribution as both men died before being brought to an official trial. On March 17, 2003, a UN-supported tribunal was finally outlined after five years of negotiations. Some speculate that the Cambodian government under Prime Minister Hun Sen attempted to deter the tribunal out of fear that embarrassing connections would be revealed between the Khmer Rouge and the current administration. In fact, Hun Sen was once a soldier in the Khmer Rouge army. Consequently, when the Vietnamese invaded in 1977, he was captured and the Vietnamese trained him for the coalition government they wanted to set up in Cambodia. Since 2003 the tribunal has been stalled numerous times.

The tribunal has a current budget of $56 million submitted by the UN. Canada has agreed to fund $1.7 million of this. The tribunal is made up of twelve judges. In the Trial Chamber there are five judges, three of these five must be Cambodian. Additionally, the president of the Trial Chamber must be one of the three Cambodian judges, not a foreign judge. In the Supreme Court Chamber there are to be seven judges, four of these are to be Cambodian and again the president must not be a foreign judge.

The negotiations behind the tribunal state that the judges should attempt a unanimous agreement. Whenever this is not possible the Trial Court should have a majority vote of four judges while the Supreme Court must have a five-vote majority. The trials allow for defendants to be held accountable even if they were not directly responsible. In other words if one of the defendants is indirectly responsible for a murder they are to be charged for this murder. The trials are to be open to the public, perhaps as a way of allowing the Cambodian people to finally have closure.

The tribunal has already seen the arrest of five major Cambodian leaders. In 1999, Comrade Duch surrendered to authorities where he was detained for eight years. Ultimately, in July of 2007, he was charged with crimes against humanity. In November of the same year he appealed on the basis of his eight-year imprisonment. In September, Nuon Chea was arrested at his home and charged with war crimes against humanity. Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thririth were arrested in Novemeber and Sary has also been charged with war crimes against humanity. Khieu Samphan, was also arrested in November, one day before Duch made his appeal. Duch, who now considers himself a born-again Christian believe it is time to confess his sins. Many believe that his testimony could be integral to proving the involvement of the other prisoners in the murders that took place during the Khmer Rouge rule.

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