Cambodia's long-awaited Khmer Rouge tribunal has held its first public hearing, in what many see as a landmark moment for a country trying to overcome its brutal past. The tribunal is expected last for three years, with trials starting in 2008.
As the UN-backed court gets down to business, another tribunal of sorts is seeking to overcome the tragedy of the genocide.Former Khmer Rouge fighters and victims of the regime have been coming together for grassroots meetings, reminiscent of South Africa’s truth and reconciliation drive, in a quest for mutual understanding.
The Khmer Rouge regime is blamed for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million people during its reign from 1975-79. Many fear the surviving Khmer Rouge leaders could die before being brought to justice. The movement's notorious leader, Pol Pot, died in 1998.