Corruption Still Haunts the Khmer Rouge Tribunal – Monday, 18.5.2009

Posted on 19 May 2009. Filed under: Week 613 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 613

“Phnom Penh: Defense lawyers of former Khmer leaders join their voices to raise the cases of corruption allegations and seem to take the corruption problems as a leverage to encourage this mixed court to clearly solve the corruption problem.

“On 4 May 2009, the defense lawyers of Mr. Khiev Samphan, Mr. Ieng Sary, and Ms. Ieng Thirith, lodged complaints to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia against the judgment of the co-investigating judges’ office.

“The co-investigating judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Judge You Bunleng and Judge Marcel Lemonde, issued a judgment on 4 April 2009, rejecting to open an investigations on corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, responding to the 11th request of the co-defense lawyer of Nuon Chea.

“The co-investigating judges explained that corruption cases are not under their authority. Also, the authority of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is limited by law, as the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia were created to hear and try former high ranking leaders of Democratic Kampuchea [the Khmer Rouge Regime] and other people who are highly responsible for crimes against humanity and war crimes during the Khmer Rouge Regime from 17 April 1975 to 6 January 1979.

“However, both national and foreign co-defense lawyers of Mr. Khiev Samphan, Mr. Ieng Sary, and Ms. Ieng Thirith, support the complaint to clarify corruption allegations that have been mentioned by the co-defense lawyer of Mr. Nuon Chea.

“In four separate complaints filed at the Extraordinary Chambers, the defense lawyers of the four former Khmer Rouge leaders ask the Extraordinary Chambers to dismiss the judgment of the co-investigating judges, and to show the results of the investigation conducted by the internal control service in order to find the truth about corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. This demand is to secure the rights of the accused, such as Mr. Khiev Samphan, Mr. Nuon Chea, Mr. Ieng Sary, and Ms. Ieng Thirith, so that they receive fair hearings. The defense lawyers call on the Extraordinary Chambers to hold public hearings over those appeals early in the first week of June.

“By Saturday, 16 May 2009, there was still no response from the Extraordinary Chambers of the Khmer Rouge court.

“Corruption allegations at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal were raised since the beginning when this court started to deal with crimes, after it was jointly created by the Cambodian government and the United Nations in 2007. But so far, there is no solution yet, creating doubts over the capacity, independence, and future of this mixed court.

“The appeals of the defense lawyers resulted in follow-up reports by the TV channel CNN and The Economist magazine, which reported about corruption allegations at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. The defense lawyers claim that especially the interviews with some former staff – from the Cambodian side of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal – clearly describe the procedure for collecting money from staff, and also the persons to whom the money was to be delivered.

“The complaints directly accused the president of the Administration Office of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Sean Visoth, to have collected money from Cambodian staff, but Mr. Sean Visoth, who has been present at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal since November 2008, immediately denied that he took kickbacks from, or gave kickbacks to anyone.

“As for officials of the Cambodian government, they always dismiss the allegations about corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, and consider it to be something that was raised without a true basis.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4896, 17-18.5.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 18 May 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #187, 17-18.5.2009

  • Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs [Kasit Piromya – กษิต ภิรมย์] Came to Koh Kong Quietly [and unofficially] through the Cham Yeam International Border Crossing
  • Lightnings Have Killed Nearly 60 People during this Rainy Season

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1946, 17-18.5.2009

  • Domestic Violence Is Still a Complicated Topic for the Society [of Cambodia]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #405, 17-19.5.2009

  • UNESCO Says that to Visit the Preah Vihear Temple, a World Heritage Site of Cambodia, UNESCO Needs No Permission from Siam [the Thai government reportedly demanded that UNESCO officials have to ask for permission or inform Thailand before they come or leave the Preah Vihear Temple]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6652, 18.5.2009

  • The Cambodian People’s Party Receives Satisfactory Results from the District/Province/City Council Elections
  • Most Ferocious Robbery in a House: Tragedy of the Family of the President of the Royal Academy for Judicial Professions, Mr. Tep Darong [two robbers covered with masks over their heads killed his 16-year-old daughter, his 15-year-old adopted daughter, and his 4-year-old nephew by hitting them with iron bars and by shocking them with electricity; his wife survived because she pretended to be dead, but she suffers from serious injuries. – US$18,000, Euro 6,000, a lot of jewelry, and a RAV 4 car were also stolen – Phnom Penh]
  • In the Forest There Are Many Protectors and Conservation Organizations, but Still Wild Animals Are Hunted for Food Every Day [Pursat]
  • Sri Lankan Troops Declare They Totally Control the Last Area of the Tamil Tiger Rebels

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3760, 18.5.2009

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Considers the Council Elections to Be a New Historical Success for the Party [because before the Sam Rainsy Party had no officials from its party among district and province/city authorities, but now they have members in all structures]
  • The Opposition Party of Cambodia Asks the Government to Follow International Trends by Putting Pressure on the Burmese Government [at the time when Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi is to be prosecuted by a court over the illegal visit by an American man]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4896, 17-18.5.2009

  • Corruption Still Haunts the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
  • The So Nguon [transportation] Company Loads Wood Illegally in Its Containers
  • Export of Silk Products Declines by 30 to 40% [because of the global economic crisis]

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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