ECCC Reparations

This blog is designed to serve as a repository of analyses, news reports and press releases related to the issue of RERAPATIONS within the framework of the Extraordinary Chambers in Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), a.k.a. the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Corruption only barrier to US funding of Khmer Rouge court

The Eartimes time
Author: DPA
Mon, 25 Aug 2008 14:03:49 GMT

Phnom Penh - The resolution of an ongoing corruption scandal at a joint Cambodian-UN court set up to try former Khmer Rouge leaders was the only barrier to direct US funding of the court, the outgoing US ambassador said at a press conference Monday. Ambassador Joseph Mussomeli, ending a three-year mission in Cambodia, told reporters at the US embassy that he was convinced the tribunal was on the right track.

"The Khmer Rouge tribunal is making slow progress but it is going in the right direction," he said.

"We want to support and fund the Khmer Rouge tribunal directly, but we cannot until we are convinced it is a real tribunal ... and will give Cambodian people a real chance at justice."

He said an ongoing investigation and controversy over kickbacks for jobs allegations and other irregularities which has dogged the Cambodian side of the court since 2006 was close to resolution.

Earlier this month the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, which currently has five former Khmer Rouge leaders in custody, launched a new ethics' monitor to address complaints.

The UN Development Program has expressed concerns and donors have withheld funding for July worth hundreds of thousands of dollars for Cambodian employees until the matter is sorted out.

The court is expected to hear its first case against former S-21 torture centre chief Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, as early as October. Up to 16,000 people are believed to have died at S-21.

As many as 2 million people died of starvation, overwork, disease, torture and execution under the 1975-79 ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge regime, but the aged and often-ailing leaders lived freely until the court's indictments began being issued last year.

© 2008, The Earth Times, All Rights Reserved


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