Tribunal Staff Sets Up Anti-Corruption Team
15 August 2008
The Cambodian side of the Khmer Rouge tribunal has established a committee to solve corruption issues, following allegations of kickbacks in the courts.
Administration Director Sean Visoth and Cambodian prosecutors and judges met with more than 250 staff met Friday, appointing tribunal judge Kong Srim, chief of the Cambodian judges, and tribunal spokeswoman Helen Jarvis to investigate corruption within the Cambodian side of the tribunal, spokesman Reach Sambath said.
"The aim of the meeting was to strengthen the mechanisms to fight against corruption, which has been alleged in the tribunal," he said.
Kong Srim could not be reached for comment Friday, but Reach Sambath said all Cambodian staff who have heard about corruption or faced it themselves will be encouraged to provide information to the judge or Jarvis.
The Cambodian side of the joint UN tribunal has been beleaguered by corruption allegations, including reports in June by staff of kickbacks. The new allegations led to the freezing of the July salaries of all Cambodian staff by the UNDP.
The Victims Unit of the Khmer Rouge tribunal has received around 1,800 complaints from purported victims of the regime, but not all of them are within the jurisdiction of the special courts, tribunal officials said Thursday.
"Those who want to file a complaint must make a charge for the period between April 1975 and January 1979," said Keat Bophal, chief of the Victims Unit, as a guest on "Hello VOA." "That is the jurisdiction of the court."
Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath, who was also a guest, said some of the complaints were not valid, such as a complaint that France had cut Cambodian land from neighboring countries.
Keat Bophal said those with complaints about the regime, within the jurisdiction of the courts, could call the unit, at 023 214 290.
The tribunal was designed to help facilitate reconciliation, in part by providing a means by which victims of the regime could file against defendants, five of whom are so far in jail.