Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Less ECCC commentary and more facts, please



Less ECCC commentary and more facts, please

Less ECCC commentary and more facts, please

Dear Editor,

Georgia Wilkins' article in your April 3 issue of The Phnom Penh Post titled "Judges gag corruption talk" should have been labelled as a commentary rather than presented as news.

Wilkins seems unable to distinguish between corruption allegations and responses to Hun Sen's reported comments on the ECCC. For example, she follows a quotation of the prosecution's arguments about the inadmissibility of the corruption allegations, because they were not notified before the hearing, with: "But [defence] lawyers argued that as the comments [by Hun Sen] were made only two days ago, they could not have included it [sic] in the appeal." What are readers meant to understand from that? That Hun Sen accused the ECCC of corruption?

In addition, the article contains some significant inaccuracies:

  1. The allegations about kickbacks at the ECCC did not arise last year. They were first made more than two years ago. And they did not "arise". They were pushed to the media by OSJI [Open Society Justice Initiative], and they have been repeated continually since then by OSJI, which has steadfastly refused to make its allegations specific or ... subject to verification.
  2. There was no "review of the court [ECCC] by a UN oversight body". The UN has never reviewed the court on this or any other matter. (However, there have been regular independent financial audits of the Cambodian side, the results of which are posted on the ECCC website.)
  3. The German parliamentary delegation report was not "leaked to the media in February". It was published on the internet in November (my memory: maybe it was December or October). The assertion that the report "named" the ECCC head of administration as "found guilty of corruption" might be worded to be defensible in a libel case but is bad journalism. The German delegation's report quoted Knut Rosandhaug, the ECCC's deputy director of administration, as reporting such a "finding" to the delegation. Mr Rosandhaug, offered the opportunity to do so by the media, declined to affirm that quotation. Wilkins does not mention this.
  4. Wilkins claims that OSJI's kickback allegations have been "consistently dodged by the court, the UN and the government". Leaving aside the government, for the last two years the court has spent an inordinate amount of time dealing with the allegations.

Allen Myers

Phnom Penh

Editor's note: Allen Myers is the husband of Helen Jarvis, chief of public affairs and ethics monitor for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there