The United Nations Warns They Will Stop Negotiating about Corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal – Friday, 10.4.2009

Posted on 11 April 2009. Filed under: Week 607 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 607

“After three days of discussions between the U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Council of Ministers and chairperson of negotiating team to establish the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Sok An, to agree on a mechanism to prevent corruption, which seriously occurred at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, there was nothing achieved and the UN representative warned they will not continue negotiations with the Khmer government. [This had been the third visit for the same purpose – and all three meetings failed to achieve a final agreement.]

“The U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs in charge of relations with the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Peter Taksøe-Jensen, said in his statement in English at night of 8 April 2009 after the three-day discussions, meeting journalists, that the Cambodian side and the United Nations did not reach an agreement.

“Mr. Peter Taksøe-Jensen, an official of the United Nations, said, ‘We could not agree, though at last, it seemed we almost reached an agreement. And I left a request on Deputy Prime Minister Sok An’s table, asking for his consideration. From now on, we will not negotiate any more. I will release a statement tonight (8 April 2009) about our position.’

“Mr. Peter Taksøe-Jensen’s statement, which represents the United Nations position, reads as follows: ‘The United Nations continues to believe that for the ethics monitoring system to be credible, the staff should have the freedom to approach the ethics monitor of their own choice and put forward complaints without fear of retaliation. Such freedom of choice is an important element of a trustworthy ethics-monitoring system.’

“Mr. Peter Taksøe-Jensen added, ‘It is still important for the United Nations that corruption accusations and other allegations of wrongdoings are solved effectively. Therefore, we will strengthen anti-corruption mechanisms further at the court, which is trying some former Khmer Rouge leaders. For the time being, ethics monitors from the United Nations side will advise staff about ethics monitoring, and send all complaints that it had received to the UN headquarters in New York, to be monitored there and to take measures to be consistent with genrally acceptable complaint mechanisms, and the United Nations side will report to the Cambodian side about complaints it had received, without mentioning the names of staff, in order to avoid any retalliation against those who lodged complaints.’

“Regarding the statement of Mr. Peter Taksøe-Jensen at the night of 8 April 2009, the Deputy Prime Minister and chairperson of the negotiating team to establish the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Sok An, did not make any comment to journalists, and he referred this task to the spokesperson of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Phay Siphan.

“The spokesperson of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Phay Siphan, told reporters that the three-day discussion between the Cambodian side and the United Nations was completed successfully and had achieved four important results: to release a joint statement concluded on 23 February 2009, the creation of effective mechanisms by both sides, and to ensure to maintain the trial proceeding of former top Khmer Rouge leaders effectively.

“Mr. Phay Siphan said, ‘Yes, it is a success. In every meeting, there is always mutual understanding; understanding about what Cambodia wants in order to maintain the effectiveness of the mechanism to strengthen ethic standards, but not only on the Cambodian side alone, it is to strengthen ethical standards for all, even for the foreign side. And each administration, whether of a small or of a big country, may sometimes face a crisis, or make mistakes.’

“A program coordinator of the Open Society Justice Initiative, Mr. Long Panhavuth, asserted that corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal affects the trial proceeding of former Khmer Rouge leaders.

Mr. Long Panhavuth added that there should be an agreed mechanism for the trial proceeding of Khmer Rouge leaders to clear those accusations.

“The Khmer Rouge Tribunal, set up in cooperation by the United Nations, suffers from serious corruption allegations among officials from the Cambodian side. Recently, the foreign co-lawyer of the suspect Khiev Samphan, Mr. Jacques Vergès, also charged that some Khmer officials had offered kickbacks to higher ranking officials to receive positions at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

“However, the Director of the Office of Administration of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia from the Cambodian side, Mr. Sean Visoth, denied that there is corruption as alleged so far, as the Khmer Rouge Tribunal has not received any clear complaint about corruption, and even though letter boxes were set up at all stories of the building of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to receive anonymous or open letters, still there is no such letter.

“The president of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO, Ms. Pong Chhiv Kek [also known as Dr. Kek Galabru], expressed concern about the warning of the Cambodian Prime Minister, Mr. Hun Sen, not to indict additional suspects who were former top Khmer Rouge cadres, saying that he would rather let the Khmer Rouge Tribunal fail, and he wished it would run out of money soon, but he will not let war erupt, since if war would erupt, the trial of those former Khmer Rouge leaders will not be possible, and tens of thousands of people will die. ‘Who wants to be responsible for this?’

“Ms. Pong Chhiv Kek strongly reacted to this, saying that Mr. Hun Sen should not get involved in the affair of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, and let the court decide to indict more suspects or not. If ten more former Khmer Rouge leaders are indicted of killing nearly two million Khmer citizens, the mind of Khmer citizens will probably be put at rest.” Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #56, 10.4.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 10 April 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #56, 10.4.2009

  • The United Nations Warns They Will Stop Negotiating about Corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #162, 10.4.2009

  • [Minister of Tourism] Thong Khon: Cambodia Opens a New Cambodian-Laotian Border Crossing Point in Order to Accommodate Foreign Tourists
  • The Minister of Tourism: The Events at the Preah Vihear Temple Do Not Affect Tourists Coming to Cambodia

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1970, 10.4.2009

  • Duch Is Charged with More Serious Crimes about His Role at “M-13” [two witnesses who were detained and tortured at the M-13 center administered by Duch, Mr. François Bizot, a French citizen, and Mr. Ouch Son, came to testify about Duch at the court]
  • Siamese [red-shirt] Demonstrators Warn They Will Disturb the ASEAN Summit with its Dialogue Partner Countries in Pattaya

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6625, 10.4.2009

  • During Three Months of 2009, There Were 80 Rapes, Compared to the Same Period [last year], an Increase of 10%

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3734, 10.4.2009

  • The Opposition Party Encourages the Government to Solve the Khmer-Thai Border Disputes Internationally
  • Khmer Citizens Who Suffered from the Siamese [Thai] Shelling at the Market near the Preah Vihear Temple Demand Compensation from the Government
  • Hun Sen Is Open for [the Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mu Sochua to Sue Him [for defamation, because he denied her complaint that she had been handled roughly last year by police, tearing her blouse open] while Civil Society Persons Criticize His Speech, in Which He Attacked a Female Parliamentarian

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1430, 10.4.2009

  • Prime Minister Samdech [Hun Sen] Encourages Agricultural Activities

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4868, 10.4.2009

  • Cambodian Prime Minister Warns Commune Chiefs to Stop Providing Legal Sanctioning for the Purchase and Sale of Forest and Flooded Forest Land

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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How are you and your wife?
It’s me Young Hee in Korea.
Thanks to your efforts, I can follow up news of Cambodia
Take care….

[…] the report in the Mirror of 10 April 2009, with the text of the statement of UN Assistant Secretary-General for Legal […]


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