Original report from Phnom Penh
07 August 2008
Khmer audio aired 07 August 2008 (810 KB) – Listen (MP3)
The UNDP is withholding $300,000 in pay from 250 Cambodian staff of the Khmer Rouge tribunal, UN and tribunal officials said Tuesday.
Funding for the month of July was initially suspended “pending a spending plan from the Cambodian side,” the spokeswoman, Aimee Brown, said in an e-mail Thursday. “Following this, new allegations of kickbacks arose. UNDP is reviewing the implications with its donors so we can collectively agree how to move forward following the allegations.”
Tribunal spokeswoman Helen Jarvis confirmed Thursday $300,000 in salaries had not been paid to the Cambodian staff of the tribunal courts.
Cambodian staff filed complaints in June over corruption, and a UN oversight committee in New York is now reviewing the allegations.
Tribunal spokesman Peter Foster said the allegations were one of the factors in pay being withheld to staff.
“I believe the UNDP has said that it is one of several factors that have led them to require further review before proceeding,” Foster said. “This is an issue under review with donors and UNDP.”
UNDP was “taking the matter very seriously,” Brown said. “Our aim is to move forward with the work of the tribunal without sacrificing the integrity of the funds supporting it.”