Foreign Co-Defense Lawyers of Nuon Chea File a Complaint about Corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal – Friday, 9.1.2009

Posted on 10 January 2009. Filed under: Week 594 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 594

“Phnom Penh: A foreign co-defense lawyer of [former Khmer Rough leader] Nuon Chea demanded the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to open an investigation regarding corruption allegations at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. This demand was made through a complaint to the Royal Prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday on 8 January 2009. The Royal Prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Count has not yet accepted this criminal complaint [on 8 January – Note: But on 9 January he did]

“Representing a group of three foreign co-defense lawyers of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Michiel Pestman presented this complaint to the Royal Prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. The plaintiffs declared to be victims of a violation of the criminal law of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia [UNTAC] of 1992, the plaintiffs especially raised the allegation of corruption in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which can lead to destroy the basic right to receive just hearings.

“Through the complaint, the three foreign co-lawyers, Mr. Michiel Pestman, Mr. Victor Koppe, and Mr. Andrew Lanuzzi, as plaintiffs, base their complaint on a statement of the Open Society Justice Initiative [OSJI] of February 2007, a report by UNDP, and some local press articles. These documents alleged that the general staff as well as some judges of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal paid a portion of their salaries to higher officials of the Cambodian government, in response to having received their positions at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

“The foreign co-defense lawyers mentioned also the history of facts related to previous corruption allegations related to the Khmer Rouge tribunal.

“The foreign co-defense lawyers of Mr. Nuon Chea asked the Royal Prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to open an investigation about corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

“They said they make this demand, because their efforts to receive information from the Cambodian side and from Deputy Prime Minister Sok An regarding the accusations about corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal had not been successful, because no information was provided. That is why the foreign co-defense lawyers concluded that the people mentioned above and others acting similarly might violate the UNTAC criminal law of 1992, or other similar rules of prosecution by directly coordinating to help each other and to encourage corruption relating to the assignments at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal during the continuing investigation.

“Coming once in the morning and once again in the afternoon to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday, on 8 January 2009, Mr. Michiel Pestman told reporters that the clerks did not accept his complaint, even though he had tried to deliver documents of complaint to the Royal Prosecutor’s clerks, and he had indicated that foreign lawyers would come again to meet them at 3:00 p.m. on 8 January 2009. But the clerks still did not accept the complaint and required them to come to the court again on Friday, 9 January 2009.

“Mr. Pestman added that the clerks had said that the complaint lodged by the foreign co-defense lawyers was a special one so they need to first talk to their superiors.

“Mr. Pestman went on to say that the corruption allegation, related to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, is a serious problem, and it can negatively impact on rights of the accused so that they not receive just hearings; it is a major concern of everyone involved in the process of these procedures.

“He went on to question with great concern how the Khmer Rouge Tribunal could provide justice to his defendants without clarification? Paying a portion of the salaries of officials of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to high ranking officials of the government makes these officials of the court unable to work independently.

“Mr. Pestman clearly indicated that staff of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal did cut a portion of their salaries as a kick-back to high ranking officials of the government, depending on reports published by the United Nations, but he did not know who those Khmer staff were, and to whom they had paid their money.

“Nevertheless, the spokesperson of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Reach Sambath, did not make any comment on the complaint of the foreign co-lawyers, filed at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Mr. Reach Sambath considers the corruption case at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to be a past problem, for which no facts had been found to support it. But he emphasized that the Cambodian side in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is highly committed to fight inequities. The court created a mechanism with a code-of-ethics councils and with mail boxes for staff to lodge complaints regarding corruption.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4790, 9.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 9 January 2009

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1842, 9.1.2009

  • Samdech Hun Sen Told Thailand to Re-Consider the Timing and place of the ASIAN Summit [now planned for 27 February to 1 March 2009, in Chiang Mai]
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia Reacts against the Thai Authorities for Not Allowing Cambodian Tourists to Enter Thailand [from a tourist cruise ship on 25 December 2008 – although they held Thai visa – saying that they did so, because they were concerned about security problems]
  • Owner of a Shoe Factory Leaves More Than 100 Workers on the Day when the Salaries Were Due [the owner of the factory, a colonel, ordered his bodyguards to intimidate the workers not to protest, while workers, mostly underage girls, shouted that they have no money to buy rice and to pay to travel back to their home villages and towns]
  • Rate of Patients and People Who Died from Malaria Declined in 2008 [the number of patients was 46,931, and the number of deaths was 155, while in 2007 there were 59,848 patients and 219 deaths]
  • The Thai Central Bank: The Occupation of the Airports [in 2008] Caused Siam [Thailand] to Loose US$8.3 Billion

Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #320, 9-10.1.2009

  • Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Kasit Piromya Will Meet Samdech Hun Sen on 25 and 26 January 2009 to Solve Border Disputes [according to the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Koy Kong]
  • Terrorist Leaders Who Planted Explosive Devices [in Phnom Penh] Are Arrested [in Poipet, police said that the suspects were involved also in the setting of explosive devices at the Cambodian-Vietnamese Monument on 29 July 2007 in Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #322, 9.1.2009

  • If People Reaching Retiring Age Still Collude to Delay Retirement, Why not Scrap Every Retirement Law All Together???

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #178, 8.1.2009

  • The Announcement of a Hearing of a Danish Woman and Her Son Accused of Dealing with Drugs Is Delayed [to 15 January 2009]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6547, 9.1.2009

  • Car Loaded with Corn Hit Anti-Tank Mine, Killing Three and Injuring Six Lightly and Severely on National Road 57 [Ratanak Mondol, Battambang]
  • Explosion Echoed behind the Office of the Prime Minister [Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, of Thailand – no one was injured]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3661, 9.1.2009

  • [International co-prosecutor of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal] Robert Petit Has Not Given Up the Demand to Investigate Six New Suspects [although the Khmer co-prosecutor of the tribunal, Ms. Chea Leang, released a statement opposing his demand]; Hearing of [the former Tuol Sleng Prison chief] Duch Will Start in March

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4790, 9.1.2009

  • Foreign Co-Defense Lawyers of Nuon Chea File a Complaint about Corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
  • Customs Income in 2008 Was More Than US$290 Million, Which Was 30% Over the Expectation [it declined by 7.5% compared to 2007 – according the Customs Department director, Mr. Pen Siman]
  • A Dead Female Dolphin Floated Down in Front of Wat Chrouy Thma in Kompong Cham

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3471, 9.1.2009

  • World Bank Increases Access to Telecommunication Services for Poor Citizens in Five Provinces [Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, and Pursat]

Wat Phnom, Vol.16, #8002, 9-11.1.2009

  • [Phnom Penh governor] Mr. Kep Chuktema Plans to Spend US$10 Million [foreign money] on Public Lighting in Phnom Penh

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Friday, 10.10.2008: Elections to Choose a President of the Bar Association, on 16 October 2008, Might Face Crisis

Posted on 11 October 2008. Filed under: Week 581 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 581

“During every election to choose a president for the Bar Association in Cambodia, there were always harsh confrontations because of disagreements, that led one person who had lost an elections not to agree to hand over the position to the winner of the election. Because of the previous challenges related to the position of president of the Bar Association, the Bar Association is very careful, being afraid that similar problems might appear again during the elections for a new president of the Bar Association

“Members of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia, who stand as new candidates for the position of president, are very agitated and anxious, because they want the elections to come soon, so that they know who is competent to be the new-term president of the Bar Association to replace Ky Tech, who is the present president of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

“A member of the Bar Association, who asked not to be named, reported that the elections to choose a new president of the Bar Association will be held at the Hotel Cambodiana on 16 October 2008 with more than 500 lawyers attending. Ky Tech is not allowed to stand again as a candidate for the election of a president for the Bar Association.

“The restriction by the Bar Association [regulations] for Ky Tech to stand again as a candidate for the forthcoming elections for a new president of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia leaves some people, who support Ky Tech, unhappy, because when Ky Tech is no longer president of the Bar Association, they will loose their backing. Even Ky Tech himself is unhappy with the restriction for him to stand again as a candidate for another new term.

“Sources from the Bar Association said that the following persons are candidates for the election of a new president of the Bar Association: 1. Nou Tepirith, 2. Khieu Sophal, 3. Puth Theavy, 4. Ouk Phouri, and 5. Chiv Song Hak. The five candidates have two days or 48 hours to lobby the members to support them before the elections.

“A candidate said that the upcoming elections for a new president of the Bar Association are essential. If lawyers are not independent and do not take a moral position, it creates an impossible situation; therefore, whichever candidate is elected, that person must transparently and independently work for the Bar Association.

“Previously, the Bar Association was not very independent, which caused some harsh and disorderly situations in the Bar Association. Another problem was that some government officials and politicians infiltrated the Bar Association, previously led by Ky Tech; moreover there was also discrimination and nepotism.

“It should be noted that after the elections in 2004, Ky Tech, the president of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia, did not hand over his position to Mr. Suon Visal, who had won the elections, creating a conflictive situation which was a heavy burden on the Bar Association.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3584, 10.10.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 10 October 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1764, 10.10.2008

  • Siam [Thailand] Puts More Troops and Canons in Front of the Preah Vihear Temple
  • Burmese Ambassador to Cambodia [Mr. Aung Naing, 61] Died from Illness in SOS Hospital [8 October 2008]
  • Mr. Rong Chhun [president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association] Announces to Demonstrate against the Siamese [Thai] Prime Minister [who plans to visit Cambodia on 13 October 2008]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #260, 10.10.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Do Not Move to Become Members of the Commissions of the National Assembly [because the Cambodian People’s Party did not discuss the nominations for the composition of the National Assembly’s leaders with the Sam Rainsy Party]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #113, 10.10.2008

  • The Cambodian Mine Action Center Announced to Seek Aid for Mine Clearance [annually, between US$10 and US$11 million is spent to clear around 27 square kilometers from land mines]
  • The Open Society Justice Initiative Requests Donor Countries of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to Set Conditions so that There Is No Corruption [a brief press statement is here – the full 17 pages document “Recent Developments at the ECCC: October 2008” can be downloaded there by a mouse click on the icon presented there]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6469, 10.10.2008

  • During the First Nine Months, the Number of International Tourists Increased by 10.11% Compared with 2007 [to 1,389,557]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3584, 10.10.2008

  • Elections to Choose a President of the Bar Association, on 16 October 2008, Might Face Crisis
  • Because of Tense Situation in Siam [Thailand], Khmer Workers Rush to Return Home
  • [Funcinpec Secretary-General] Nhek Bun Chhay Asks Hun Sen to Nominate Former Secretaries of State and Under Secretaries of State [from Funcinpec] as Advisors


Rasmei Angkor, Vol.15, #1368, 10.10.2008

  • [A 17 year-old] Youth Was Rolled Over by a Truck, Completely Destroying His Body into Pieces of Flesh that Could Not Be Recognized [Dangkao, Phnom Penh]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4712, 10.10.2008

  • The National Assembly Recognized Seventeen Newly-Elected Parliaments from the Cambodian People’s Party to Replace Those [from the CPP] Who Had Resigned [because they were appointed to ministerial positions – and the validity of the three elected members from the Human Rights Party as members of the National Assembly was also established – after a special swearing-in ceremony for all, presided over by the King]
  • The Appeals Court Sentenced a Russian Millionaire [Alexander Trofimov, 41] to Serve Six Years Imprisonment for Sexually Assaulting Children under the Age of Fifteen [reducing the original sentence of 13 years imprisonment we had reported on 14.3.2008]
  • Thai Army Commander-in-Chief [General Anupong Paochinda] Promised Not to Make a Coup [after the worst turmoil on 7 October 2008]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3422, 10.10.2008

  • Phnom Penh Authorities Warn about Plans to Demonstrate during the Siamese [Thai] Prime Minister’s Visit [according to the Phnom Penh Police Chief Touch Naruth]

Click here to have a look at the last editorial: Consensus about law enforcement in a society is easy to achieve, when the leadership shows to enforce it equally for all.

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