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No Funding in Emergency Tribunal Meeting

  • Kong Sothanarith
  • VOA Khmer

Khmer Rouge tribunal and government officials met with UN and donor representatives Thursday to discuss an impending budget crisis for the Cambodian side of the UN-backed court, but pledges for funding failed to materialize.

Khmer Rouge tribunal and government officials met with UN and donor representatives Thursday to discuss an impending budget crisis for the Cambodian side of the UN-backed court, but pledges for funding failed to materialize.

The Cambodian side says it only has enough money for two more weeks of operation.

Council Minister Sok An and the UN’s top legal adviser, Patricia O’Brien, both said Monday the court needed an infusion of money to continue, as it works toward its second trial of jailed Khmer Rouge leaders.

The Cambodian court needs about $500,000 per month to operate, but its coffers have dwindled to $200,000, officials said Monday.

In meetings Thursday, tribunal administration officials told donors that Cambodian staff will only receive half salaries for April, according to a court spokesman, Dim Sovannarom.

O’Brien also attended Thursday’s meeting, and she “called on the representatives of the countries in the meeting to continue their support for [the tribunal] and to provide funding as quickly as possible,” Dim Sovannarom said.

No new funding came forward, however. Japan said earlier this year it would give $3.4 million to the court, a pledge followed by a US promise of $5 million, but all of that funding will go to the international side of the court.

Dim Sovannarom said the Cambodian half of the hybrid court expects $3 million from the European Commission, which would resolve the current crisis.

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