[JURIST] UN and Cambodian officials failed to reach an agreement Wednesday on a system for monitoring corruption issues in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website]. UN assistant secretary-general for legal affairs Peter Taksoe-Jensen presented a proposal [UN News Centre report] to Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An [official profile], but no agreement has been reached [Phnom Penh Post report]. Taksoe-Jensen had meet with Sok An, who also chairs the Royal Government Task Force on the Khmer Rouge Trials [official website], during the past week to discuss his system which would allow ECCC personnel to deliver complaints to the ethics monitor of their choosing without the fear of reprisal. In presenting the proposed anti-corruption mechanism, Taksoe-Jensen stressed the need to deal with allegations of corruption in the ECCC as the tribunal began [JURIST report] its first substantive trial of a former Khmer Rouge [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] leader last month. Taksoe-Jensen has left a proposal for Sok to consider, saying he believed they were close to an agreement but that further negotiations would not continue.
The ECCC was intially created by Cambodia under a 2001 law [amended text, PDF] to investigate and try surviving Khmer Rouge officials. The ECCC plans to try as many as eight suspects [JURIST report] for their roles in the Khmer Rouge, but rights groups have warned that the trials could face credibility and corruption [JURIST reports] problems. 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 go bankrupt. The ECCC announced last June that it planned to end its operations [JURIST report] a year early because of limited funding.