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U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement

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Statement by Richard Boucher, Spokesman
January 2, 2001

Adoption of Khmer Rouge Law in the Cambodian National Assembly

The United States welcomes the action in the National Assembly of the Cambodian Government unanimously approving a draft law to establish "Extraordinary Chambers" for the investigation and prosecution of senior Khmer Rouge leaders and others who were most responsible for the atrocities of the 1975-79 period in Cambodia. The people of Cambodia can take great pride in this important endeavor to judge the Khmer Rouge leadership. The National Assembly's action represents a major step forward for credible accountability for the massive crimes that took place under the leadership of Pol Pot. While we have not yet had an opportunity to review closely the text of the law approved by the National Assembly, we understand that it adheres to the understanding reached between the Government of Cambodia and the United Nations last summer. We look forward now to further action on the draft law before the Senate of the Government of Cambodia and final consideration by King Sihanouk, as well as final consultations between the Government and the United Nations to implement the agreement expeditiously.

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