Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UN legal expert opens talks on Khmer Rouge tribunal with officials

UN legal expert opens talks on Khmer Rouge tribunal with officials

UN legal expert opens talks on Khmer Rouge tribunal with officials

081210_02.jpg
081210_02.jpg

Meeting is first to be held between government and world body after Cambodian leaders lashed out at UN's handling of graft allegations at court

Photo by: TRACEY SHELTON

Deputy Prime Minister Sok An (left) attends a meeting between government and United Nations officials in Phnom Penh.

UN OFFICIALS REFUSED TO COMMENT ON EITHER THE OUTCOME OR THE AGENDA OF THE MEETING.

A UNITED Nations delegation met with government officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, to discuss the progress of the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Tuesday, the first meeting between the two sides since the government openly criticised the world body's handling of a review into allegations of kickbacks at the UN-backed court.

The delegation, led by the assistant secretary general for legal affairs, Peter Taksoe-Jensen, arrived in Phnom Penh Sunday to discuss a number of issues of "common concern to the UN and the Cambodian authorities", a press release last week said, yet details of the meeting were not released after Tuesday's talks.

"We will release a joint statement tomorrow [Wednesday] to reflect exactly what we have discussed," co-spokesman for the Council of Ministers, Pen Ngoeun, told reporters.

He refused to comment further, except to say that the talks were "very fruitful".

UN officials also refused to comment on either the outcome or agenda of the meeting.

The two sides are expected to continue meeting today.

Allegations that Cambodian staff were kicking back part of their salary to their bosses rocked the tribunal earlier this year, resulting in the UN freezing millions of dollars in donor funds.

The results of a review into the allegations by a UN body in New York were sent to the government in September, although these findings are yet to be made public.

Lawyers for former regime leaders detained by the court have demanded the graft probe results be made public, saying corruption at the tribunal could result in unfair trials for their clients.

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