A newly appointed tribunal hearing the cases of some 600 alleged collaborators postponed until June the cases of 17 Iraqi, Jordanian and Kuwaiti suspects in an arraignmentlike proceeding that differed sharply from the first trial a week ago.

In another development Sunday, Kuwait celebrated three months of liberation from Iraqi forces by ending martial law. The termination of the emergency provision means that suspects tried for collaboration from Sunday onward are entitled to the appeals process under Kuwait's Constitution.The recent appointment of the five new judges who heard cases Sunday was a development welcomed by human rights observers.

"The fact that they assigned new judges to the trials is a positive step," said Kenneth Roth, deputy director of Human Rights Watch, a New York non-profit organization.

The five judges heard the cases of a Jordanian accused of stealing photocopy machines, an Iraqi accused of informing on a Kuwaiti resistance fighter and a Jordanian accused of murder.

Their cases were postponed for hearings scheduled to begin June 9, a move that allows them several weeks to collect witnesses and evidence and prepare a defense with their government-appointed attorneys.

Unlike earlier trials where some suspects were charged with such questionable crimes as wearing a Saddam Hussein T-shirt or possessing a single bullet, most of Sunday's cases were serious. The most frequent charges were burglary, informing, aiding the enemy and hoarding weapons and explosives.