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Cambodian Tribunal Judges Demand Retraction of Corruption Allegations

Cambodia judges for the Khmer Rouge tribunal Friday demanded the retraction of corruption allegations by the independent Open Society Justice Initiative.

The group, which helps train Cambodian judges, said last month that local judges sitting on the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia must pay up to 30 percent of their salaries to government officials in order to sit on the tribunal.

That allegation "seriously undermines the reputation and integrity of all national judges appointed by the ECCC," Kong Srim, the head of the Supreme Court for the tribunal, said in the statement released Friday.

Kickbacks in the notoriously corrupt country are commonplace, including among the judiciary.

International and local judges began a 10-day series of meetings this week to hammer out differences over crucial rules for the tribunal, and observers say failure now could lead to a scuttling of the tribunal altogether.