Constitutional court approves law to try Khmer leaders

1. Wide shot of exterior of Constitutional court building 2. Close shot of entrance to Constitutional court building 3. Wide of international council sitting to debate the law 4. Mid shot of council members 5. Various of meeting 6. Cutaway of press 7. Wide of meeting 8. Mid shot of delegate 9. Press listening to delegate 10. SOUNDBITE: (English) Iang Sem, member of constitutional council "I think from the point of view of national and international belief that the law is really important. For us, you know, when they sent the law to us we just treat as other law unless they say that they want us to decide first. But you know, this law, we just treat as any other law." 11. Exterior of jail in Phnom Penh that houses two former Khmer Rouge leaders 12. Close up of sign that reads: 'Military Prosecution Department' AUDIO AS INCOMING File - 1998 Anlong Veng 13. Ta Mok - commander during Pol Pot's regime File - 1999 Samlot 14. Kang Khek Ieu - known as "Duch" - was head of Pol Pot's secret police 15. Close shot of Duch File - 1998 Phnom Penh 16. Wide shot of Ieng Sary, Khieu Samphan, Hun Sen (current Prime Minister) 17. Mid shot of Nuon Chea - former Khmer Rouge STORYLINE: A senior Cambodia government official on Wednesday said that the country's long-awaited Khmer Rouge tribunal was expected to be legalised within a week, once King Norodom Sihanouk signs the draft legislation. Minister of cabinet Sok An, who is in charge of the committee drafting the tribunal law, said copies of the law would then be sent for review to Hans Corell, who heads a team of legal advisers from the United Nations. The draft legislation, which was approved by the Constitutional Council on Tuesday, establishes the framework for a UN-assisted tribunal in Cambodia to try surviving Khmer Rouge leaders, blamed for the deaths of one point seven (M) million people during their rule in the late 1970s. The members of the Constitutional Court made short work of their debate. After just two hours they declared that the legislation was in line with the constitution. The bill had already passed through both the upper and the lower houses with little fuss. The United Nations must sign a memorandum of understanding that approves the law before the trials can start. Sok An said he would invite the UN legal team to Phnom Penh for discussions about international participation in the tribunal. But discussions with UN legal experts may face obstacles because the legislation ignores some concerns the world body raised in February about an earlier draft. In a prison, not far from the council building, the only former Khmer Rouge figures currently in custody await justice. Ta Mok, a key member of the central committee during the murderous Pol Pot regime, is said to have led bloody purges in the east of the country that left tens of thousands dead. He was captured in 1999. Kang Khek Ieu, also known as "Duch", was the head of Pol Pot's secret police and ran the notorious S-21 death camp in Phnom Penh in which at least 14-thousand people were tortured and murdered. He surrendered in 1999 and could turn out to be the star witness as well as a defendant. As for other leading figures, doubts remain whether they'll ever be brought to trial. Among them the Khmer Rouge's foreign minister Leng Sary, its chief apologist Khieu Samphan, and its chief idealogue Nuon Chea. All are currently living free in the west of the country. You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/63dc24b4fedd7c397e7e799f8d1a1c03 Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork

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Constitutional court approves law to try Khmer leaders

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