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Watchdog slams KR tribunal

Watchdog slams KR tribunal

DAYS before the opening of the Khmer Rouge tribunal's first trial, international watchdog Open Society Justice Initiative has released a report urging the Cambodian government and international actors to "immediately address grave flaws" at the UN-backed court.

"The court is plagued by pressing institutional challenges that threaten to prevent it from fulfilling its mandate. How the court, the Cambodian government, the United Nations and international donors respond will be crucial to the ECCC's immediate future," states the report, obtained by the Post Wednesday.

The report focuses on a recent dispute between co-prosecutors over the number of suspects to be tried, saying the tribunal must rely "on law and facts, not politics, in deciding how many suspects will be investigated".

It also targeted unresolved allegations of corruption at the court and the court's dire financial situation.

"The court must take aggressive action to dispel the suspicion that its staff have paid kickbacks to political overseers," it said.

"Without an infusion of new financial support, the court risks running out of funds before it can complete a single trial," the report stated.

The tribunal begins its first trial, that of Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, on Tuesday after 10 years of negotiations and pretrial investigations. 

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