Khmer Rouge Tribunal Chief Marks 6 Years On ‘Sick Leave’

The Khmer Rouge tribunal’s director of administration, Sean Visoth, has now been on “sick leave” for six straight years, a court spokes­man said on Friday.

Mr. Visoth officially went on sick leave in November 2008 after he was implicated in a kickback scandal that displeased the court’s foreign donors and the U.N. 

In 2011, despite still being on leave, Mr. Visoth took up a full-time po­sition as director-general of Ap­sara TV, a job he still holds, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Since Mr. Visoth went on leave, his former deputy, Tony Kranh, has been the court’s acting director of administration.

Tribunal spokesman Neth Pheaktra confirmed on Friday that Mr. Visoth is still technically the dir­ector of administration and remains on leave.

“He is still on sick leave,” Mr. Pheaktra said. “I have no more information about that.”

Asked about the nature of Mr. Vis­oth’s six-year-long illness, Mr. Phea­ktra said he could not be more specific.

“I think it is personal information. I cannot reveal that,” he said.

Heather Ryan, a court monitor for the Open Society Justice Ini­tiative, which initially exposed the corruption allegations in 2007, said the court needs to be transparent about its current leadership.

“After [six] years, it is time for the court to publicly acknowledge that Sean Visoth will not return to the court where, under his watch, Cambodian staff were required to kick back a significant portion of their salary just to get and keep their jobs,” she wrote in an email.

Asked on Friday to comment on his extended sick leave, Mr. Visoth said in a Facebook message, “I don’t need to tell a foreign journalist what is about the admin procedure of Cam­bodia public service.”

He added: “You are a journalist and I’m now a TV worker. So we are on the same field. We can meet and discuss any time you want.”

“Can I ask u if u need a boyfriend now?”

In a subsequent message, Mr. Vis­oth noted that he is very busy and meets “only with young beautiful single women,” and would not waste his time if he could not be sure that a reporter met all of those criteria.

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Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s director of administration, Sean Visoth, has been on “sick leave” for five years. He has been on leave for six years.

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