Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Youk Chhang sending mixed signals about tribunal corruption

Youk Chhang sending mixed signals about tribunal corruption

Youk Chhang sending mixed signals about tribunal corruption

Dear Editor,

I write to express disappointment regarding the comments made by Mr Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, in the article titled “Ieng Sary team seeks ECCC judge’s ouster” (The Phnom Penh Post, September 20). Mr Youk Chhang reportedly dismissed the Ieng Sary defence filing to disqualify the ECCC Presiding Trial Chamber Judge, Nil Nonn, as an attempt to “invite controversy”, adding that the problem of bribery and petty corruption at provincial courts was common knowledge in Cambodia. Mr Youk Chhang is quoted as saying “It’s publicly known”. The comments made by Mr Youk Chhang imply that there is corruption in Cambodian courts, and that this should simply be accepted.

The implications from these comments are shocking, especially in light of the Report of the United Nations Human Rights Envoy, Surya Subedi, which only this weekend branded the Cambodian judiciary as corrupt, incompetent and lacking independence. Mr Youk Chhang’s comments are all the more disappointing in light of his position as the director of DC-Cam, an NGO purportedly established to find the truth regarding the Khmer Rouge period. The ECCC presents an opportunity not only for Cambodia to find out the truth about the Khmer Rouge period, but also to act as a model court contributing to the rule of law in Cambodia. Mr Youk Chhang’s comments promote neither opportunity, but rather accept corruption as a given in the Cambodian judiciary. If Mr Youk Chhang is so blasé in accepting a potentially corrupt judiciary at the ECCC, perhaps he should look at his own position as director of DC-Cam, and whether he is promoting the aim of his organisation.

Ang Udom
Michael G Karnavas
Co-lawyers for Ieng Sary

Send letters to: [email protected] or PO?Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length. The views expressed above are solely the authors’ and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all