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U.N. envoy says Ieng Sary should face trial.

PHNOM PENH, June 22 Kyodo

A United Nations special envoy on human rights said Friday Ieng Sary, the one-time Khmer Rouge deputy prime minister and foreign minister, should be among those tried by a U.N.-supported tribunal on genocide and crimes against humanity.

''When I say who will be tried, of course, Ieng Sary is one of those who comes to one's mind,'' Peter Leuprecht, special representative on Human Rights to Cambodia, said shortly after arriving in Cambodia on his third trip to the country.

Leuprecht's remarks came just hours after Cambodia's government amended a draft on a tribunal making life in prison the maximum penalty for anyone convicted by the court.

Early this year the Constitutional Council rejected the original draft, approved by parliament, because it called for the death penalty as the maximum form of punishment. Under Cambodia's constitution, the country's severest form of punishment is life imprisonment.

The U.N. has been firm against amnesty for Ieng Sary, but the government claims amnesty was granted to Ieng Sary in 1996.

Also Friday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia will ask the U.N. to fund the tribunal, saying Cambodia's own money could be better spent fixing roads and bridges.

Leuprecht, meanwhile, responded: ''I don't think the trial will not take place over purely financial problems.''

He added some countries have already said they were willing to contribute to the tribunal.

Cambodia and the U.N. agreed last July to have co-prosecutors and co-investigative judges try surviving former leaders of the radical communist group blamed for the deaths of at least 1.7 million Cambodians during its 1975-1979 rule.

During his stay in Cambodia, Leuprecht will cover a series of issues, including property laws and military demobilization.

Before leaving on June 28, he plans to meet with King Norodom Sihanouk and Prime Minister Hun Sen and to visit the western provinces of Battambang and Banteay Meanchey to view living conditions there.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Jun 23, 2001
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