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Cambodia tribunal subject of anti-corruption talks

[JURIST] UN assistant secretary general for legal affairs Peter Taksoe-Jensen stated Monday that significant progress was made during discussions of corruption [Phnom Penh Post report] alleged to exist in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive]. Taksoe-Jensen commented [AFP report] that he and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An [official profile] had gone over a possible anti-corruption mechanism for the court. The ECCC was created in 2006 to try former Khmer Rouge [BBC backgrounder, JURIST news archive] leaders, but has faced repeated allegations of kickbacks and other irregularities, which judges for the court deny [JURIST reports]. Also Monday, US governance monitor Global Integrity released a report [text] rating Cambodia as "Weak" in the areas of Anti-Corruption and Rule of Law.

Some believe that such allegations of corruption are a leading cause of the ECCC's extreme financial difficulties, discouraging potential donors from contributing funds. Despite Japan's pledge [JURIST report] of an additional $21 million in January, it is feared that the court may be bankrupt in less than a month. The ECCC announced last June that it planned to end its operations [JURIST report] a year early because of limited funding.

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