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Tribunal Sides Agree to Better Management

The UN and the government have agreed to joint meetings to strengthen the management of the Khmer Rouge tribunal, which has suffered continued allegations of corruption, officials said Wednesday.

“We believe the court can be more efficient and the sides can have a joint session,” Pen Ngoeun, a spokesman for the Council of Ministers, told reporters Wednesday.

The announcement followed two days of talks between Council Minister Sok An and UN Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Peter Taksoe-Jensen.

A joint meeting will be held “as soon as possible” to improve administration of the tribunal and “to have more understanding between the UN and Cambodian sides,” Pen Ngoeun said.

The Khmer Rouge tribunal, a hybrid endeavor of Cambodian and international administrators and judges, has indicted five former leaders of the regime, but its progress has been stunted by corruption allegations and mismanagement.

Donors have proven hesitant to continue funding the tribunal unless it can meet international standards of transparency and justice.

Tribunal observers say work between the Cambodian and UN sides of the court have become “incomprehensible.”

Both sides announced Wednesday they would seek to improve management and would strengthen anti-corruption measures.

The UN delegation led by Taksoe-Jensen met with diplomats and representatives of civil society during a five-day visit, said Seng Theary, executive director of the Center for Social Development, who is a civil party complainant in the tribunal.