Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Group cautions on KRT funding

Group cautions on KRT funding

Group cautions on KRT funding

DONORS to Cambodia's cash-strapped Khmer Rouge tribunal should demand that graft allegations at the court be dealt with before the release of future funding, the legal watchdog Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) said Wednesday, calling the tribunal's struggle to control corruption "serious and potentially fatal" to its legitimacy.

"Donors should condition any future funding, as well as the release of existing pledges, on a meaningful resolution of longstanding concerns about perceived corruption at the [Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia]," the group said in its October report on the tribunal.

that Cambodian court staff were forced to kick back portions of their salaries to their bosses were sent to the UN's office of Internal Oversight Services  in August. Their review was returned to the Cambodian government at the end of September but details have not been disclosed.

The allegations led the UN Development Program to freeze funds to the tribunal, which has repeatedly been threatened with bankruptcy.

While some additional money has been pledged in recent months, the court still faced a funding shortfall of nearly US$75 million to remain operational  through 2010, OSJI said.

The group did hail recent efforts by the court to address corruption, such as the appointment of ethics monitors and a processs to address complaints. But it questioned the ability of tribunal officials to protect whistleblowers, saying that failure to protect complainants "puts the credibility of both the court and the UN in jeopardy".

Court spokesman Reach Sambath said Wednesday he was not worried about the report.

"People have the right to express themselves," he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh