Gov’t Receives UN Findings On KR Tribunal Graft Review

The government has received the findings of a UN review of kickback allegations made earlier this year by Cambodian staff at the Khmer Rouge tribunal, the court’s chief spokeswoman, Helen Jarvis, said Wednesday.

Between late June and early Au­gust, multiple allegations of kickbacks were referred to the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Ser­vices in New York, which began a review but which officials say has no mandate to put Cambodian officials under investigation.

Jarvis declined to discuss the contents of the OIOS findings but said they had been sent to Cabinet Minister and De­puty Prime Min­ister Sok An early this month.

“I understand that the deputy prime minister has responded,” she said Wednesday.

Peter Foster, the court’s UN spokesman, said Wednesday that the findings would not directly involve the court’s UN side and therefore declined to comment.

Word of the kickback allegations in August caused international donors to the court’s Cam­bodian side to place an indefinite hold on funding managed by the UN Development Program.

In an Aug 5 letter the UN, Sok An said Cambodia should retain jurisdiction over any allegations con­cerning Cambodian staff. How­ever, donor and UN officials have said since that it could be politically impossible to contribute to the court’s Cambodian side until a satisfactory resolution to the allegations has been achieved.

The US an­nounced Tuesday that it would seek lawmakers’ approval for a $1.8 mil­lion contribution to the UN side.

Joseph Mellott, a special adviser to the State Department’s office of war crimes, said Wednesday that Cambodian authorities had made no request for donations to the Cambodian side and that the US had not considered one.

Jarvis said Monday that all don­ors were made aware of the court’s needs and that the court had de­monstrated its commitment to preventing irregularities.

 

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