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Cambodia Bar Association Says International Judges Delaying Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Cambodia's Bar Association is accusing international judges of trying to delay the start of genocide trials for former leaders of the Khmer Rouge.

Bar Association President Ky Tech said Monday, the judges are acting in what he called a "childish" manner by threatening to boycott preparations for the tribunal.

The international judges object to Bar Association demands that foreign lawyers pay fees to join the Khmer Rouge trials. The judges say they will boycott a meeting next month on rules for the tribunal if the dispute is not resolved.

The judges say the fees imposed by the Bar Association will discourage foreign lawyers from taking part in the trials and limit the ability of defendants to seek counsel.

The U.N.-backed tribunal is to begin this year. It will try former leaders of the Khmer Rouge government, which was responsible for the deaths of nearly two million people in the late 1970s.

The Cambodian Bar Association says it wants international lawyers to pay as much as $4,900 a year to work on the tribunal.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.