Khmer Rouge tribunal judges and prosecutors opened their
fourth plenary session Monday, beginning a five-day session that will focus on the upcoming trial of Duch and questions of corruption still hounding the courts.
The national and international jurists were also set to
discuss amendments to the internal rules of the tribunal for smoother
proceedings and cooperation, officials told reporters Monday, as the meeting
The tribunal's Supreme Court chief judge, Kom Srim,
announced Monday that both sides of the UN-Cambodia hybrid tribunal face
financial problems, but he said current funding would allow the completion of
the first trial, of Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Kek Iev, better known as
Duch's case, for war crimes and crimes against humanity, is
nearing the trial stage.
"One of the major issues that has been troubling for
all the judges is that corruption within the ECCC," said international
judge Sylvia Cartwright, referring to the tribunal by its official initials,
for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.
"These historic trials…must not be tainted by
corruption," she said.
At least one Cambodian staff member of the tribunal
complained of official kickbacks in June, a claim that is currently under
review at the UN Oversight Office in New
York and contributed to the freeze of $300,000 in
funding to the courts.
Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath stressed on Monday that
there was only an allegation, and that no case of corruption has been found.