Sunday, February 11, 2007

Peggy's box of CPP

Saturday, February 10, 2007

CPP-Appointed Judges, Prosecutors in KR Court See 30% of Their Wages Deducted [- CPP tithe system?]

31 Jan 07
By Sophal
Samleng Yuveakchon Khmer (Voice of Khmer Youth)

Translated from Khmer and posted online

Cambodian co-judges and co-prosecutors appointed to work in the Khmer Rouge Trial Court [KRTC] along with foreign co-judges and co-prosecutors are known to be members of the Cambodian People's Party [CPP]. If they were not CPP members, even if these judges and prosecutors were graduates of superior national and international law schools and were extraordinarily competent they would not have a chance to become the KRTC co-judges and co-prosecutors.

According to sources, the co-judges and co-prosecutors who receive thousands of dollars in salary to serve the KRTC and other officials in the same court have to contribute 30 percent of their salary to the CPP that has chosen and appointed them to the job.

Because the judges and prosecutors of the Cambodian side were selected from among active members of the CPP, the Cambodian judges and prosecutors cannot do whatever they please and in line with the legal procedures because before being nominated as KRTC co-judges and co-prosecutors they have already been resolutely pro-CPP.

Civil society officials also charged that the Cambodian side's co-judges and co-prosecutors of the KRTC would not be able to deliver genuine justice for the victim Cambodian people, of whom nearly 2 million perished under the Khmer Rouge regime.

The discussion between the Cambodian and foreign co-judges on the internal rules for the KRTC has deadlocked and this tense meeting has been temporarily suspended. This meeting to discuss the internal rules may resume early next month.

Past rumors had it that MPs and government officials as well as big officials of state institutions who were party members were required to make regular contributions to support their party through the head of the party executive group in each region.

For example, MPs who receive nearly $2,000 in salary were ordered by the party to pay 30 percent of that amount every month into the party coffers. High-ranking government officials also are said to be required to pay thousands of dollars per month. They were given zones of control from which they could make money through corruption and by using their influence to extort money from their own subordinates.

The Cambodian side's judges and prosecutors in the KRTC have been appointed by the CPP to this job in order to find justice for the nearly 2 million Cambodian people who died and the many more who suffered under the Khmer Rouge regime between 1975 and 1979. But they are being compelled to cut 30 percent of their salary and pay it to the CPP on a regular basis. This practice has surprised national and international circles. People can say that the Cambodian side's judges and prosecutors work at the orders of their party only, not according to the law.

Deputy Prime Minister and Cabinet Minister Sok An, who is also vice chairman of the commission to reform the justice system in Cambodia, is known to be the one who appointed the judges and prosecutors loyal to the CPP to work in the KRTC, and these judges and prosecutors must perform their job according to the directives from Sok An and the CPP.

China, which was involved in and a sponsor of the Democratic Kampuchea regime, has supplied the Hun Sen Government with many low-interest loans leading many civil society quarters to say that China's aid money certainly has strong influence on the KRTC proceedings.

For this reason, there are many controversies in the debate on the legal procedures and internal rules to be implemented in the KRTC, a discussion that so far has remained inconclusive.

In case the foreign co-judges and co-prosecutors learn about the use of the ruling party's influence on the Cambodian judges and prosecutors in the KRTC, they might walk out of this tribunal in a bid to prevent their own reputation and honor from being tarnished by the ruling party's farcical participation in the KRTC under its influence.

The Asian Human Rights Commission once issued a statement expressing its concern that the government might use its influence on the KRTC to be joined by the foreign judges and prosecutors. However, senior Hun Sen Government officials have rejected all the accusations by the Asian rights organization.

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