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Tribunal To See Anti-Corruption Measure

Senior officials of the UN and Cambodia agreed Monday to establish a basic system to fight corruption within the Khmer Rouge tribunal.

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Peter Taksoe-Jensen and Cambodian Council Minister Sok An met for the second time Monday, as the tribunal heads toward a landmark trial for jailed prison chief Kaing Kek Iev, but under the shadow of corruption allegations.

Corruption and mismanagement allegations caused some donors last year to freeze funding to the tribunal and led to a suit filed in national courts by defense attorneys for jailed regime leader Nuon Chea, who said a corrupt tribunal could not provide a fair trial.

The two sides will set up “parallel national and international mechanisms to receive complaints and suggestions,” according to a joint statement issued after a lengthy meeting between the two men.

Complaints from the Cambodian side of the courts will be registered with the national “mechanism,” while international staff will issue complaints to the UN side. The complaints will be forwarded to a “joint session,” which will recommend actions.

“I think this is a significant agreement,” Taksoe-Jensen told reporters, in a joint press conference with Sok An. “I hope that it will be noted by the donor countries as well, and I hope that can have a positive impact on their willingness to come forward with new funds.”

Sok An called it a “very good agreement and very good understanding about the issue of strengthening the administration.”