ECCC Short of Money

Posted by khmernews on December 28, 2007

As the time for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) may inevitably be extended its process, the tribunal needs additional fund twice as much as the planned budget in order to continue its work. However, the demands have not been fulfilled by any donors yet.

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal is likely to be extended through 2010, so ECCC will also need much more funds. According to a source close to the case, the budget for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal will increase from $56 million to more than $100 million.

However, there have not been presently any planned meetings or discussions to appeal for more funds yet. The budgetary problem needs to be solved as soon as possible since it is estimated that the tribunal will have run out of funds by April 2008.

“We are waiting for answers from the United Nations in New York, we do not know clearly when the funds will have run out, but we know that the United Nations is mulling over the issue.” said Khmer Rouge Tribunal Spokesman Reach Sambath.

The initially-planed budget for the court amounts to $56.3 million, but since the commencement of the court in February 2006, there have yet to be enough funds because of shortage of $8.1 million in which is $4.9 million on government side.

As the process will be extended, more funds are needed. The extra funds have already estimated, but no official claim yet.

So far, the United States has not directly funded the tribunal yet. However, according to U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues Clint Williamson, who paid a three-day visit to Phnom Penh for two weeks ago, the U.S. Senators will debate the law in next February that enables the U.S. to provide funds to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. Meanwhile, the ambassador also welcomes the arrest of the five former most responsible people and leaders of the Khmer Rouge.

Sam Rainsy, [president of Sam Rainsy’s Party], said that the arrest had been made in order to draw attention from the international community to add funds to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal only (please read Cambodge Soir Hebdo, 15 November).

“We have been assured by the United States, and until the present time, the international community also shows their enthusiasm on our work,” said Reach Sambath, adding that finding more funds would not be an obstacle.

“The collection of more than $100 million is very important as it will help many ECCC’s services, especially those for victims,” said Hisham Mousar, Rights Group Adhoc’s member in charge of Khmer Rouge Tribunal affairs.

If the funds can eventually be collected, the whole budget for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal will be reaching the similar level to the special tribunal in Sierra Leon.

Unofficial Translation
-Extracted from Cambodge Soir Hebdo, Vol 1, #13, December 27, 2007-January 2, 2008


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