Khmernews

All KR leaders Arrested,Gov’t Announces KRT Shortfalls

Posted by khmernews on February 7, 2008

Den Sorin

.. It is a very coincident moment that while former Khmer Rouge leaders have been arrested and the KRT representatives have visited the former Khmer Rouge region to calm former Khmer Rouge people, officials and soldiers, the government has announced shortfalls of the tribunal.

Three-year planned Khmer Rouge Tribunal will spend up to almost $60 million. While the KRT is processing, it is announced that Khmer Rouge Tribunal needs more $100 millions. Therefore, what has been estimated by the task force who negotiated to establish Khmer Rouge Tribunal was completely wrong.   Although there is some alleged corruption, the tribunal, so far, has not made any independent investigation yet, but according to a source close to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the tribunal really needs more funds. Up to present, the Khmer Rouge tribunal has not been provided enough fund by the donors for the 60-million dollar project yet. Some countries have promised funding but the fund has not provided fully yet, because those counties did not believe the tribunal could move smoothly.  Although there has been the arrest of five former Khmer Rouge leaders, it does not mean that donors completely have faith on the KRT. Washington, which had urged the Khmer Rouge trial and has so far funded the Documentation Center of Cambodia, has not given any sign of direct funding to the Khmer Rouge tribunal yet. United States only claimed its stand in considering granting fund to the tribunal. Through the visit of US Ambassador at-large for War Crimes Issues John Clint Williamson to Cambodia in December last year, the US  had showed has shown its stand on sponsoring the court, but it was the consideration and making decision, which not decide yet.

During John Clint Williamson’s visit to Cambodia, Americans also called on US government to provide aids to the trial because former Khmer Rouge Leaders were arrested.

Although the arrest of Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith is said to be a “play” co-performed by the government and foreign judges, but most Cambodian people except the people in former Khmer Rouge stronghold have welcomed the trial. That’s why in early this week, the Extraordinary Chamber of Courts of Cambodia has assigned its representative to former Khmer Rouge stronghold zone to allay fears of people whose leaders had been arrested. In 2008 the Tribunal may process in accord to the procedure, but Khmer Rouge Trial’s budget is the concerning problem.

On Thursday 17th January, 2008 Kao Kim Houn, Ministry of foreign affair secretary of state, publicly notified reporters of ECCC’s shortfalls and called donors to inject more funds to the court.  He did not tell how much ECCC needs but only confirmed that the budget plan is being drawn. Actually, Khmer Rouge Trial’s shortfalls were declared nearly one year ago. According to a western diplomat who asked for anonymity, it is very coincident that in 2008 the Khmer Rouge Tribunal declares shortfall.

The diplomat had not considered the shortfall an intentional delay, but if there were no sponsorship from donors, the tribunal would be halted in the middle of the process “while victims would be insulted by murderers”. However, United Nations, the United States and Japan have been expected not to ignore or let the long-delayed trial “die”.

Unofficial translation
Extracted from MoneaKsekar Khmer, Vol. 15, #3367, Friday. January 18, 2008.

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