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Cambodia: Report outlines Khmer Rouge Tribunal's latest troubles

A report by the Open Society Justice Initiative details the latest issues to plague the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. The report, released in late May 2009, states the Tribunal's legitimacy is threatened by charges of corruption and political interference. The report states:

The government of Cambodia and the United Nations have failed as yet to agree on a credible process for addressing complaints of corruption. This leaves staff who may be victims of corrupt practices bereft of a viable remedy or complaint mechanism that they can pursue without fear of putting their jobs or safety at risk.

In addition to discussing the charges of corruption and political interference, the report provides an update of events at the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts in Cambodia. The full text of the report is available here.

But the Tribunal could also fail on a technicality. KI Media posted a story from VOA Khmer revealing that the jailed senior leaders may be released from detention before their trials start because the Tribunal has proceeded at such a slow pace.

Four of the senior-most leaders of the failed regime—Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith—have reached the midway points of their provisional detentions, and yet none has seen trial. Some observers worry about a release of those four in early 2010, but others argue that authorities will have to find ways to keep them detained.

The corruption charges were discussed in a prior GV post. The Cambodian government has denied interfering with the Tribunal, including preventing judges of the court from interviewing witnesses who are current government employees.

Tribunal support sticker

Tribunal support sticker

Photo by Arwens Abendstern on Flickr and licensed through Creative Commons.

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