ECCC’s Sean Visoth Sick for Fourth Month

Khmer Rouge tribunal Director of Administration Sean Visoth has, as of today, been on sick leave for four months. However, the tribunal said Wednesday it could not provide information as to when or if this situation may change.

“He is on sick leave. That is all I am going to say,” the tribunal’s Public Affairs Chief Helen Jarvis said.

Following the Nov 26 announcement to court staff that Sean Visoth would be away from his office “until further notice,” the tribunal’s acting Director Tony Kranh said Sean Visoth was likely to return within weeks and denied rumors among staff that he had in fact resigned.

The tribunal on Jan 30 announ­ced Sean Visoth’s impending re­turn but reversed this announcement within 48 hours, citing the advice of doctors.

Officials at the Council of Mini­s­ters on Wednesday said they had only occasionally seen Sean Visoth, who has not returned to work at the ministry, where he serves as executive secretary of the government’s Kh­mer Rouge trials task force.

“I saw him and he’s kind of skinny,” said Secretary of State Phay Sip­han, adding that Sean Visoth currently has no office at the ministry. “I think he’s sick. He’s not happy.”

Sean Visoth has repeatedly de­clin­ed to answer questions concerning his sick leave or allegations linking him to kickback allegations reported last year to UN officials.

He was the sole witness in an ab­ruptly closed preliminary investigation of the corruption allegations in which foreign lawyers for former Khmer Rouge Brother Number Two Nuon Chea asked Phnom Penh prosecutors to investigate Sean Visoth, former tribunal personnel chief Keo Thyvuth and Cabinet Minister Sok An.

In November, several weeks be­fore his sick leave began, Ger­man lawmakers also reported that tribunal Deputy Director Knut Ros­and­­haug had reported to them that a UN review of the kickback allegations had implicated Sean Visoth.

Rosand­haug has declined to discuss the report, which has been withdrawn from the website of the German parliament.

(Add­itional reporting by Phann Ana)

 

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