No More Connection with Graft within K Rouge Tribunal, U.S. Expects

Posted by khmernews on September 19, 2008

Chuob Praha
The U.S. expects that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal (KRT) will not be in connection with future corruption allegation after it pledged to provide the hybrid court with US$1.8 million in a quest for justice for victims killed in the killing fields.

In a separate statement in Washington on 16 September 2008, State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said that the U.S. is committed to helping Cambodia in its efforts to hold Khmer Rouge leaders accountable for their crimes. While the court still has more to do, the ECCC has made significant strides to overcome international concerns about corruption, mismanagement, and political influence, including adding a new international deputy administrator, strengthening management practices, and establishing procedures to deal with allegations of wrongdoing, he said.Tribunal officials said of staffers’ wages deduction and kickback, but those who committed wrongdoings are not made public. Because of a while provisional suspicion, the UN Development Program (UNDP) froze staffers’ monthly salaries for the month of July. Apparently, Cambodian side’s personnel chief was removed from his position, while corrupted persons were not.

International community and donor nations, especially the U.S., are reluctant to bring more money to the tribunal because it is in connection with corruption allegation.

But U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte who has recently paid a visit to Cambodian pledged to provide the KRT with US$1.8million in funding to run smoothly.

State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said the U.S. State Department notified the Congress in its effort to help Cambodia in order to bring former Khmer Rouge leaders to justice.

Court spokesman Reach Sambath claimed that the U.S. assistance is meaningful in political affairs and the court has welcomed the U.S. right decision, adding that in spite of small amount of money provided, it is better than nothing.

The tribunal is strongly committed to setting up precise plans in future corruption resolution, by assigning ethic monitor and transferring personnel chief, Reach Sambath said, adding that Duch trial is expected to begin as early as October in the wake of some procedural complaints between the co-prosecution and the co-investigating judges.

Some of civil societies’ officials and observers are closely doing observation because they want the suspects to be put on trial soon to deliver justice to people.

If the trial is more delayed, the U.S. funding may run out of and the Cambodian people are still not getting justice.

The KRT needs some more US$50 million for its expenses until 2010. Cambodian side does around US$10 million, while the UN side does US$40 million.

Many are awaiting whether the bail appeal hearing of Khieu Samphan scheduled at end of October is running smoothly or not.

If Khieu Samphan’s October appeal against provisional detention faces more delay, like on 23 April 2008, fund-raising will be a hardship for the tribunal.

Even though U.S. government promises US$1.8 million to the tribunal through Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte’s recent visit, court monitors do not believe that the hybrid court can deliver justice to the regime victims because it has vainly used millions of dollars in expenses while the Cambodian people have been waiting for justice for almost 30 years. Moreover, irregularity and corruption have not been resolved.
Cambodian people want the tribunal to put Khmer Rouge leaders on trial soon as they are alive and can reveal the reason of the killing of some 1.7 million people during their reign in 1975-1979.

If the court delays trial, former Khmer Rouge leaders could die before being brought to justice as they are now ageing and suffer from serious illnesses.

Unofficial translation
-Extracted from Moneaksekar Khmer – Vol 15, #3569 – Friday, 19 September, 2008.


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