ECCC Will No Longer Work With Legal Group: Sok An

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia will no longer cooperate with the New York-based legal group Open Society Justice Initiative, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An said Feb 18.

“The administration office reported to me that they have stopped contacting [OSJI] and stopped allowing them to go into the office,” Sok An told reporters.

The announcement follows an OSJI statement on Feb 17 calling for an investigation into allegations of corruption and government kickbacks at the ECCC.

“I don’t know what [OSJI] is talking about,” Sok An said. “They just say this and that.”

OSJI said in its statement that “serious allegations that Cam­bodian court personnel, including judges, must kick back a significant percentage of their wages to Cam­bodian government officials in exchange for their positions on the court, are undermining the credibility of the ECCC.”

ECCC officials could not be reached for comment following Sok An’s comments, but earlier Peter Foster, ECCC public affairs officer, wrote in an email that the ECCC supported OSJI’s involvement.

“We support OSJI’s determination to ensure the ECCC is a transparent and independent court,” he wrote. “We encourage active debate from civil society on the work of the ECCC, and we continue to enjoy good cooperation and support from OSJI.”

Foster declined to comment on OSJI’s kickback allegations, but said that if “they turn out to have some basis and an investigation of some kind takes place, we would only make a comment after the results of any such investigation are announced.”


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