Citing dwindling finances, co-investigating judges at the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Monday confirmed there were “deep concerns” over the future of ongoing investigations into former officials accused of crimes including genocide.
The confirmation was in response to an article in The Phnom Penh Post on Monday that cited a confidential document in which the investigating judges said they were considering a “permanent stay on proceedings” due to a lack of funds.
“It is correct that a request for submissions has gone out to the parties in Cases 003, 004 and 004/2 and to the court’s Office of Administration, expressing the Judges’ deep concerns about the funding situation of the Tribunal and what it may mean for the future of these cases,” the statement says.
“The request was sent as confidential because it is on the one hand part of the investigation phase, which is generally confidential, and on the other hand, because of the highly sensitive nature of the issue since it is obvious that the Office of Administration will have to consult with the UN and the Government of Cambodia about the budget-related issues.”
It described the leak of the document as a “regrettable breach of professional trust.”
The government has opposed the court’s pursuit of the cases, which involve former Khmer Rouge naval commander Meas Muth and mid-ranking officials Ta Tith and Ta An.
The cases have long been a source of criticism against the court, which has been dogged by accusations of political interference.