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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

New international prosecutor

PHNOM PENH - CAMBODIA'S Khmer Rouge war crimes court has a new international prosecutor, the UN-backed tribunal announced on Wednesday, several months after the previous holder of the post resigned.

Briton Andrew T. Caley, who has worked at the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has been formally appointed by Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, a court statement said.

The appointment was welcomed by court observers, who said it was important to get a permanent international prosecutor in place as soon as possible.

'There are many critical decisions that should be made in the (next) case in the next two months and they should be made by the international prosecutor who will have the responsibility for carrying them out,' Heather Ryan, court monitor for the Open Society Justice Initiative, told AFP.

Mr Caley is expected to arrive in Cambodia within the next few weeks, said tribunal spokesman Lars Olsen.

Canadian prosecutor Robert Petit announced his resignation from the court in June, citing personal and family reasons after a row with his local counterpart over whether to pursue more suspects of the late 1970s communist regime. He denied his sudden resignation from the tribunal was due to the dispute with Cambodian co-prosecutor Chea Leang. -- AFP

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