The Khmer Rouge tribunal’s acting director of administration said at a press conference Wednesday that he did not see any problem with Prime Minister Hun Sen criticising a recent Pre-Trial Chamber decision that paved the way for the investigations of additional suspects.
In response to a question from a reporter, Tony Kranh said: “He [Hun Sen] has the right to make any comments or mention on all kinds of matter or fields, including the judicial matter. I cannot see any contradiction at all.”
Hun Sen’s remarks earlier this month — in which he said further indictments risked civil unrest that could claim hundreds of thousands of lives — were blasted by groups including Human Rights Watch, which said they were evidence of "the Cambodian government's efforts to manipulate what is supposed to be an independent judicial process".
Deputy Director of Administration Knut Rosandhaug, who was also at the press conference, reiterated his position that the court would operate independently of the executive branch of the Cambodian government.
Also at the press conference, Tony Kranh declined to answer questions about allegations of a kickback scheme at the tribunal.
“It has already been more than one year, and I don’t know whether there is any investigation,” Tony Kranh said. “It’s like I’m climbing up to the top of the mountain and you’re trying to drag me down to the foot of the mountain. I don’t understand.”
Rosandhaug said the budget proposal for 2010 and 2011 was in “the final stages of drafting” before a presentation to the Group of Interested States in New York later this year. He declined to provide an estimate for the budget, though he said: “We are the cheapest tribunal in the world and we will continue to be so.”