A senior UN official said Wednesday he is planning to hold
Khmer Rouge tribunal talks with Council Minister Sok An early in December.
“We are hoping to be able to have a meeting with Cambodia in the
first week of December,” UN Assistant Secretary-General for
Legal Affairs Peter Taksoe-Jensen told VOA Khmer. “We haven’t nailed
down the exact meeting time, but it looks as if we will be able to find time to
meet and discuss cooperation between the UN and Cambodia on the tribunal.”
Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said Wednesday
there was so far no schedule for a meeting and referred questions to the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Officials at the ministry were not immediately
available for comment.
A visit by Taksoe-Jensen, who is an assistant to UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon would coincide with the tribunal’s struggle with
corruption allegations and donor confidence, as well as preparations for the courts’
first-ever trial, of prison chief Duch, early next year.
Cambodian tribunal officials have denied the allegations.
Talks would show the UN’s continued attachment to the
courts’ credibility and effectively, said James Goldston, executive director of
the Open Society Justice Initiative, the tribunal monitor that first pointed
out allegations of corruption and mismanagement.
“Reports of corruption must be treated seriously, addressed
properly, and acted on immediately if the [tribunal’s] trials are to be seen as
fair and credible,” Goldston said.
Staff who initially reported corruption, on the Cambodian
side of the courts, should meanwhile be protected against reprisals, he said.