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Court to revisit tribunal graft case

Court to revisit tribunal graft case

PHNOM Penh Municipal Court prosecutors are considering reopening a criminal case into alleged kickbacks at the Khmer Rouge tribunal, defence lawyers said after a meeting with court officials Tuesday. 

"They said they were going to move [the case] forward," Michiel Pestman, co-lawyer for Nuon Chea said, adding that prosecutors had "promised" to obtain a copy of a report on graft claims by the UN's oversight body, which was done in September but never made public. Pestman also said they were  likely to summon director of administration Sean Visoth, who has been absent from the court for six months.

Ouk Savuth, deputy prosecutor at the Court of Appeals, said that he had received the case, but hadn't decided whether to reopen it.   

The lawyers tried to meet with government officials Tuesday, but said the officials had declined to hold talks.

They also expressed concern about recently surfaced documents affiliating Helen Jarvis, a former press officer at the court and its current Victims' Unit head, with a Marxist political faction in Australia.  

"[Her political beliefs] could have an influence on the fairness of the procedures," Pestman said. Jarvis and Richard Rogers, chief of defence, declined to comment Tuesday.

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