Cambodian lawyers back war crimes court strike

A strike which has brought the trial of three elderly former Khmer Rouge leaders to a standstill is set to continue after local lawyers endorsed the walk-out by staff over unpaid wages.

Phnom Penh: lawyers support strike

Lawyers at the UN-backed court said officials, including translators and interpreters, were right to walk out of the court in Phnom Penh last week. They have refused to return until they receive salaries that have gone unpaid by the cash-strapped court for the past three months, reports the Bangkok Post.

War Crimes

The lawyers said the striking staff had their ‘strong support’ despite fears that justice may never be served to the elderly defendants. The oldest of the three, 87-year-old Ieng Sary, is in hospital after falling ill on the same day of the walkout with stomach problems – the latest in a string of illnesses suffered by the former foreign minister.
According to the report some 270 Cambodian employees at the court, including drivers, prosecutors and judges, have not been paid since November.
The court – which has also suffered from a host of high-profile resignations – needs to find $7m to cover its costs for 2013.

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