Khmernews

KR Tribunal Needs $170 Million To Proceed Through 2011

Posted by khmernews on February 25, 2008

Koh Keo

Phnom Penh: The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), commonly known as the Khmer Rouge tribunal, established to try former Khmer Rouge leaders needs up to $170 million to complete its process in 2011 while the government wants it to end before 2011.
According to sources, the Khmer Rouge tribunal needs approximately $170 million to conclude its process and the funds will be spent on the expansion of staff and other judicial works. Meanwhile, the source has claimed that the ECCC is going to try up to 8 Democratic Kampuchea leaders. […]

“The tribunal needs only $170 million for the process. …. The experts in New York said that the period of 3 years is not enough to finish the process, so it needs to continue through 2011. Therefore, we will need up to more than 400 members of staff,” ECCC Spokesman Reach Sambath told Kampuchea Thmey by phone, adding that the budget for the 5-year process is $170 million. “The new budget of $170 million also includes the original $56.3 million. Amongst the sum of $170 million, $35 million will be contributed by Cambodia and the rest is covered by the UN,” said Reach Sambath.

Reach Sambath continued to say that a meeting had been held on January 30, 2008 in New York in order to raise the money, but that up to the present time there had been no response yet. “However, we are optimistic about the fundraising since “they” have experience in other criminal courts.”

“The amount of $170 million is so enormous, but if compared to the budget of the court in Former Yugoslavia, which consumes up to $170 million to $180 million per year, the court in Cambodia which spends $170 million for 5 years is simple,” pointed out Reach Sambath. “Actually, Cambodian side wants the court to finish within 3 years, but the international side, especially the experts in the Khmer Rouge tribunal, claims that 3 years is not enough and that it needs to take up to five years. Therefore, we have to listen to the experts.”

A government’s official claims that the government wants the Khmer Rouge trial to end before 2011 because it does not want the court to spend too much time and the victims to wait for too long.

Having received the information about the expansion of the time to 2011 and of the budget up to $170 million, the victims of Democratic Kampuchea express their concerns over the detained former Khmer Rouge leaders who are getting older and older and might not live until the final trial happens.

It should be reminded that the ECCC was originally planned to cover $56.3 million over three years, in which $13.3 million was expected to be contributed by the Cambodian side. However, Cambodian side could not manage to find enough of the money. It is questioned that “how can Cambodian side manage to find up to $35 million?” Some reports say that although the budget for the tribunal seems to be relatively small for other countries, but for Cambodia it is quite a lot.

Unofficial Translation
-Extracted from Kampuchea Thmey, vol. 07, #1568, Friday, February 15, 2008.

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