KRT national staff walks over salaries

KRT national staff walks over salaries

With three months’ worth of national side salaries still unpaid, about 100 Cambodian staffers temporarily left their posts at the Khmer Rouge tribunal yesterday, leaving the court to cope with almost-certain delays in its work just as the current case enters its crucial final stage.

According to court spokesman Neth Pheaktra, without such essential staff as translators and administrators, the court “take[s] the high risk” of delaying the issuance of closing briefs due later this month, and closing arguments currently scheduled for mid-October.

Civil party lead co-lawyer Elisabeth Simonneau-Fort said yesterday that the strike would definitely slow down civil party lawyers’ work due to the lack of translators, but was still “absolutely justified”.

“We hope we will be able to file [closing briefs] in due time, but we cannot be sure of this at the moment,” she said in an email.

Nonetheless, she added, “Not being paid for three months is unacceptable.”

Prosecutor Bill Smith said that the impact on his office would depend on the strike’s duration, but noted in an email that the law “requires joint participation, and without [that it] cannot achieve its goals”.

“For our office, in the short term, the impact will be manageable, but if it continues for more than a few weeks, the impact may have a significant effect,” he said.

Khieu Samphan defender Arthur Vercken said yesterday that pending requests about – among other things – the use of some 1,400 newly admitted witness statements were likely to remain unanswered until the strike ends, making it impossible for his team to properly draft a closing submission.

“We are pleading in these requests on very serious grounds, and the bulldozer is still moving, and if they don’t say anything before the 19th of September, then it’s a big problem,” Vercken said. “How can we write a closing brief if we don’t know the scope of the trial?”


  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • Phnom Penh’s Jet’s Container Night Market shuts down

    The famous Jet’s Container Night Market in central Phnom Penh has shut down due to the high cost of the land rental, company representatives claim. Jet’s Container Night Market is the largest such market in Phnom Penh. It operated for just over two

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • EU ambassador to Cambodia: Rights a ‘work in progress’

    The EU ambassador to Cambodia has called human rights “a work in progress” and said the 28-nation bloc has “carefully” noted last week’s statement by the government on taking further steps to strengthen democracy and the political sphere in the Kingdom. The EU marked