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Khmer Rouge court attracts more participants than other int'l trials+

Written By vibykhmer on Thursday, August 27, 2009 | 12:31 AM


Aug 26, 2009

PHNOM PENH, Aug. 26 (AP) - (Kyodo)—The U.N. backed Khmer Rouge court announced Wednesday it has had more participation from the public than any other international court since it began hearing on March 30.

Reach Sambath, chief of public affairs section of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, said so far 20,250 people from 11 provinces and cities around the country and from 22 other countries have participated in Case 001 -- the hearing for Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch, former chief of infamous torture center known as S-21 or Tuol Sleng prison.

"There is no court in the world that has more participants than this court. The interest is so high," he said, adding, "I think it's because the crimes took place here and the court also takes place here in the same country and as well the victims of the crimes."

Reach Sambath said the average number of public participation is 311 people on daily basis.

Among the total 2,103 foreign participants, the most are French at 531 and followed by Americans at 459.

Fifty-four Japanese have taken part in the process as of this date, he said.

Duch is one of five Khmer Rouge former leaders being tried by the ECCC.

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