The Suppression Of The Audit Report On The Corruption In The Khmer Rouge Tribunal IS Due To The Inability Of UNDP To Investigate

Posted by khmernews on July 3, 2007


After the US-based Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) insisted on re-investigating the allegation that there has been corruption in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, it is overruled by Khmer Rouge Tribunal Spokesman Reach Sombath, who claims that some assertions are not reasonable.

“The tribunal is not depending on the reports from OSJI to work, and some of the statements from OSJI are not reasonable and appropriate at all,” said Reach Sambath. “[We] want to have a good tribunal. That’s why we’ve been struggling until the present.”

An OSJI’s 20 pages report insists on investigating the corruption in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal after this organization appealed for an investigation in February, 2007 one time already.

In its statement in February 2007, OSJI denounced that Cambodian judges and prosecutors had paid kickbacks to high-ranking government officials in return of their position in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has audited the Khmer Rouge Tribunal because of the accusation from OSJI. UNDP has already given the audit report to the Office of Administration, but doesn’t release the result to the public to know yet.

A lot of sources claim the investigation made by the UNDP can’t find any hard evidence on the corruption in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

OSJI’s Cambodia Justice Initiative Director Long Panhavuth said the UNDP audit report which is not made public can cause the suspicion that UNDP is not capable to investigate the corruption in the Khmer Rouge tribunal.

With suspicion on the UNDP audit result, OSJI is urging to have another investigation.

“If the report is not made public, then the people are still in doubt about the problem which has not been solved,” he said. “So we believe that there should be an investigation to ensure the whole tribunal is just,” said Long Panhavuth.

OSJI used to urge UNDP to release the audit report on corruption in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, but UNDP didn’t agree to.

In the 20 pages report which has been publicized again, OSJI had a suspicion that the allegation on corruption in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal had not been mentioned. In the interview with Cambodian officials, “the Khmer Rouge Tribunal” had been warned in advance not to talk about corruption.

OSJI has questioned the independence of Cambodian judges and prosecutors in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and claimed that the lawyer fee is still a concerning problem since this problem has caused an obstruction in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. (…)

Khieu Kanharith, Information minister and spokesman to the government, reacted with an accusation that OSJI was willing to put blames on the government. However, Long Panhavuth overruled the accusation.

Men Kimseng, UNDP’s spokesman, didn’t comment directly on the OSJI’s report, but claimed that UNDP wanted to strengthen the partnership with the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in order to improve the capacity of the Khmer Rouge court and to ensure sustainable human resources.

Son Chayy, a member of the National Assembly, supports the OSJI’s 20 pages report which has just been made public again and advises to the government to accept criticism on the corruption in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.  

Informal Translation
-Extracted from Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, vol.14, #3076, Sunday-Monday, July 1-2, 2007.


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