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Cablegate: Core Donors Updated On Khmer Rouge Tribunal Are

VZCZCXRO3233
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHPF #0841/01 2841150
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 101150Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9990
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 2530
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0181
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS PRIORITY 0083
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 2336
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0452
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0650
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 3229
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 2326

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PHNOM PENH 000841

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS, P, D, IO, DRL, S/WCI
USUN FOR M. SIMONOFF

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/10/2018
TAGS: PREL KJUS PGOV EAID PHUM CB
SUBJECT: CORE DONORS UPDATED ON KHMER ROUGE TRIBUNAL ARE
UNITED IN ADDRESSING THE CORRUPTION ISSUE

REF: USUN 872 (NOTAL)

Classified By: ACTING DCM GREGORY LAWLESS FOR REASONS 1.4 (B,D)

1. (C) SUMMARY: Khmer Rouge Tribunal (KRT) Deputy Director
Knut Rosandhaug and UNDP Country Director Jo Scheuer October
9 briefed core donors on their recent trip to New York to
follow up on the conclusion of ASG David Tolbert's mission to
the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).
Rosandhaug declared that the UN Office of Legal Affairs,
leading other key UN actors, fully supported Tolbert's
recommendations, including to seek the immediate removal of
Cambodian ECCC Director Sean Visoth (reftel). "There is no
place for corruption in a court supported by the UN,"
Rosandhaug said. The Head of OLA delivered such a message to
Cambodia's PermRep at the UN and separately replied to two
letters from Cambodian DPM Sok An. The UNSYG's personal
secretary placed a phone call to the Cambodian head of
delegation to the UNGA, Secretary of State Ouch Borith, with
a similar message. An OLA delegation led by its ASG deputy
presently planned to travel to Cambodia in the first week of
November and would likely bring the issue to a head at that
time, Rosandhaug indicated. The French Ambassador proposed
to the assembled donors that they prepare the ground for the
OLA visit. Donors Japan, Australia, Germany, the EU, and UK
agreed that each embassy should work its own RGC contacts to
seek a satisfactory conclusion to the corruption issue. END
SUMMARY.

2. (C) In a meeting hosted by the French Embassy,
Rosandhaug and Scheuer gave a point-by-point, factual summary
of their trip to New York. For UNDP, Scheuer said that they
would continue to support the KRT on the Cambodian side
through the Project Board, if/IF the donor community resolved
the current crisis and continued to support that role.
Rosandhaug detailed that inasmuch as Prime Minister Hun Sen
did not attend the UNGA and the UNSYG could not talk to him
there, the UNSYG's chief of staff (a Korean national and
personal advisor) called MFA SecState Ouch Borith in New York
on September 24 or 25 to relay the SYG's "bottom line" --
corruption can play no role in a court supported by the UN
and urgent measures need to be taken by the RGC.

3. (C) The Japanese head of OLA sent to the Cambodian UN
PermRep in New York similar talking points under a Note
Verbale, said Rosandhaug. Finally, the OLA head also sent on
September 26 a reply to two letters OLA had received from
Deputy Prime Minister Sok An in the previous month. The
letter contained a rebuttal to some of the allegations and
demands in Sok An's letter (and "categorically pushed back")
while stating the principle that the UN "does not accept
corruption" and that "urgent measures are needed."

4. (C) Rosandhaug attempted to convince the donors that
time was running out for the UN, which was seen by the
Cambodian people as the "police" of the KRT and its
conscience. If nothing could be done by the time of the OLA
visit during the first week of November or agreed during the
visit, then "dramatic steps may be taken," he said. He also
said that defense lawyers' inquiries into corruption charges
and a new inquiry from "some judges" to OLA meant that the UN
was "losing control" and that corruption charges could play
out during the trial hearings.

5. (C) Rosandhaug noted that a major priority was the
removal of Sean Visoth and that other criteria for moving
forward -- which David Tolbert had handed to Sok An during a
personal meeting -- could follow later.

6. (C) French Ambassador Desmazieres proposed that the goal
of all embassies would be to prepare the ground for the OLA
mission. He suggested embassies pursue the issue through the
usual bilateral contacts and that it be informal. When asked
about a common demarche, the Japanese DCM said that a common
or formal demarche would not obtain a good result and that it
would be seen as confrontational. Such a move would make the
donors appear to be on one side only, he noted, and they
could then not act as the needed "bridge" between the two
sides. Australian Ambassador Adamson agreed that a joint
demarche would be the last possible step to take, somewhere

PHNOM PENH 00000841 002 OF 002


down the road.

7. (C) A number of embassies noted that a key Cambodian KRT
staffer who often publicly voices what are known to be RGC
views was "not flexible", but was "lightening" up, indicating
compromise might be possible. All agreed that the effort to
effect Visoth's removal would have to be concerted and
strong, aiming at a "political solution."

8. (C) COMMENT: Rosandhaug conveyed a sense of urgency to
the donors, many of whom received this same briefing in New
York (ref). As they have been in past meetings, donors were
unanimous in the assessment that action needed to be taken to
convince the RGC of the immediacy of the problem and the
efficacy of a political solution. Charge will approach
appropriate government interlocutors at every available
opportunity to repeat the message regarding the needed change
to address corruption on the Cambodian side of the court.
CAMPBELL

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