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Civic Groups Call for Release of Tribunal Audit

Civic groups Friday called on the Khmer Rouge tribunal to release a report that could expose corruption among judges, two weeks ahead of a scheduled meeting to discuss the internal rules of the beleaguered process.

Last year, the Open Society Justice Initiative, a group helping train tribunal judges and prosecutors, said Cambodian judges paid hefty kickbacks from their salaries in order to sit on the tribunal.

A subsequent UNDP audit of the courts was to be submitted Thursday. Spokesman Reach Sambath confirmed the tribunal judges had received the audit, but said it was not a public report.

Long Panha, of the Cambodia Justice Initiative, said the report should be available to the people to answer their concerns over corruption in the tribunal.

"We still wonder if the issue has been identified," he said. "Is there any serious issue involved? We believe a report that people should know about should be made public."

Center for Social Development Director Seng Theary said the report had not been hidden or forgotten, but should be made public.

"Now we know we have no information," she said.