A Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor investigating alleged kickbacks at the Khmer Rouge tribunal said Tuesday he has begun to summon witnesses but has yet to question any.
Deputy Prosecutor Sok Kalyan said he has summoned some people from a list of four potential witnesses provided last week by international defense lawyers for Brother Number Two Nuon Chea.
“I have started my questioning with the witnesses. I have summoned some of them but no one has shown up yet,” he said, declining to give the names of the witnesses or say when they had been summoned.
Last month, Dutch criminal defense lawyers Michiel Pestman, Victor Koppe and their US legal consultant Andrew Ianuzzi lodged a criminal complaint at the municipal court seeking an investigation of alleged kickbacks at the tribunal and naming Cabinet Minister Sok, tribunal Director of Administration Sean Visoth and former personnel chief Keo Thyvuth as persons of interest to the investigation.
The international defense lawyers say they are seeking to learn the extent of any alleged corruption and whether it could affect Nuon Chea’s fair trial rights.
Ianuzzi, who was extensively questioned by Sok Kalyan on Jan 22, said Tuesday afternoon that he had been served at the Khmer Rouge tribunal with a summons also calling Pestman and Koppe.
Pestman and Koppe are currently in the Netherlands and had informed Sok Kalyan in writing last week that they have nothing to add to their complaint or to Ianuzzi’s statements to the prosecutor, he said.
“It’s our position that we’ve provided a road map and it’s for the prosecutor to put some meat on the bones,” said Ianuzzi, adding that he intended to deliver a note to Sok Kalyan this morning informing him that Koppe and Pestman are not currently available.
Sok Kalyan said Tuesday he had not seen any letter informing him that the pair could not travel to the court by this morning and that he had been under the impression they were in Cambodia.
“Though they may have nothing to add, from my own questioning, it could be useful or sometimes something new could emerge that is very different from what they have in mind,” he said.