Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Corruption probe to continue, but joint sessions inconclusive

Corruption probe to continue, but joint sessions inconclusive

Corruption probe to continue, but joint sessions inconclusive

The criminal investigation into corruption at KR tribunal continues

apace, but court's joint sessions to address graft move slowly.

PROSECUTORS in charge of a criminal investigation into corruption at the Khmer Rouge tribunal have summonsed foreign co-lawyers of former Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea to Phnom Penh's Municipal Court, as joint attempts to resolve ethical issues at the UN-backed court look to be at a standstill.

Co-lawyers Michiel Pestman and Victor Koppe, who are currently in Amsterdam, will not be present to attend the court, leaving legal consultant Andrew Ianuzzi to submit a letter to the court in their absence, Ianuzzi said Tuesday.

"It's coming up to a month since we filed the complaint, and they only have two months to decide whether to open a judicial investigation," he said, adding the letter would reiterate earlier requests by the foreign defence team to investigate unresolved allegations of corruption at the court.

No agreement over ethics

The summonses come shortly after it was made public that the two sides of the court have so far failed to reach an agreement over how to resolve future ethical concerns.

A two-page report released by the Cambodian side of the court Monday said they were "awaiting a response of the UN team" to approve a suggested ethics model by the Cambodian side.  

According to the statement, the UN team, made up of officers appointed by the UN assistant secretary  general for legal affairs, had proposed new mechanisms that would include "an independent international Ethics Officer", which was opposed by the Cambodian side.

"We thought that it was against the spirit of the agreement and the joint statement to establish new mechanisms," public affairs officer Helen Jarvis told the Post Tuesday.

She added that the two sides were still in negotiations, despite the Cambodian side releasing their own report. "We felt obliged to meet the January 31 deadline," she said of the unilateral release.

At present, there is no spokesperson for the international side of the tribunal. Officials from the appointed UN team were unavailable for comment Tuesday.

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