UN suggests anti-corruption measures for Cambodian genocide courtRNW International Justice Desk
Posted by sarkout on April 20 2009 16:27:05
UN Assistant-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Peter Taksoe-Jensen submitted a provisional ethics monitoring mechanism Thursday to Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An for his consideration.
Sok An, who also chairs the Royal Government Task Force on the Khmer Rouge Trials, met with Taksoe-Jensen several times this week regarding the UN-backed Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).

Taksoe-Jensen stressed that any ethics monitoring system at the ECCC will only be credible if staff have the freedom to approach the Ethics Monitor at their own request and are able to put forward complaints without fear of retaliation.
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UN suggests anti-corruption measures for Cambodian genocide courtRNW International Justice Desk


The UN is pushing for stronger measures to address allegations of corruption surrounding the Khmer Rouge genocide tribunal in Cambodia.




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UN Assistant-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Peter Taksoe-Jensen submitted a provisional ethics monitoring mechanism Thursday to Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An for his consideration.
Sok An, who also chairs the Royal Government Task Force on the Khmer Rouge Trials, met with Taksoe-Jensen several times this week regarding the UN-backed Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).

Taksoe-Jensen stressed that any ethics monitoring system at the ECCC will only be credible if staff have the freedom to approach the Ethics Monitor at their own request and are able to put forward complaints without fear of retaliation.

"The United Nations will further strengthen its own anti-corruption mechanism within the Court," added Mr. Taksoe-Jensen.

The UN-backed court began its first trial in March but has been facing criticism over allegations of political interference by the government and claims that Cambodian staff were forced to pay kickbacks for their jobs.

The allegations emerged last year, prompting the UN to launch a confidential probe into claims that Cambodian workers had been forced to pay for their jobs.

International backers have also appeared hesitant to pledge more money to the court amid allegations of political interference by the government over whether the court will bring charges against more Khmer Rouge figures.

Court officials have said last year's allegations were "unspecific, unsourced and unsubstantiated."

But judges last week rejected attempts by defence lawyers for former head of state Khieu Samphan and former foreign minister Ieng Sary to raise the corruption allegations.

Investigating judges at the court on Friday said they had no jurisdiction to look into the corruption complaints.

The ECCC, established in 2003 under an agreement between the UN and Cambodia, is tasked with trying senior leaders and those most responsible for serious violations of Cambodian and international law committed during the Khmer Rouge rule. It is staffed by a mixture of Cambodian and international employees and judges.

Estimates vary, but as many as two million people are thought to have died during the rule of the Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979, which was then followed by a protracted period of civil war in the impoverished South-East Asian country.

The court's first trial, against Kaing Guek Eav, also known as "Duch," got underway last month, when he was charged by the ECCC in Phnom Penh with crimes including torture and premeditated murder while he was in charge of the renowned S-21 detention camp.