Khmer Rouge

No Funding Yet Found to Resolve Tribunal Staffing Crisis

A Cambodian police officer guards the Appeals Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as the judges read their verdict in front of an empty dock, file photo. A Cambodian police officer guards the Appeals Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as the judges read their verdict in front of an empty dock, file photo.
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A Cambodian police officer guards the Appeals Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as the judges read their verdict in front of an empty dock, file photo.
A Cambodian police officer guards the Appeals Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as the judges read their verdict in front of an empty dock, file photo.
Kong SothanarithVOA Khmer
PHNOM PENH - Administrators for the Cambodian side of the Khmer Rouge tribunal met with international donors this week, seeking more funding to solve a staffing crisis at the UN-backed court but failing to find any, officials said Friday.

Around 200 of 287 Cambodian staff have threatened to boycott work unless they are paid their salaries for December, giving the court until Jan. 31 to come up with more money.

But meetings this week with Australia and Japan, two traditional backers of the court, brought no new infusion of funding, Ek Tha, a spokesman for the Council of Ministers, which oversees the tribunal for the Cambodian government, said.

Japan will discuss the funding issue with Asean diplomats to seek a solution, and the government remains “optimistic” that more funding will be found, he said.

The court is currently undertaking only its second case, the trial of former senior leaders Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary for atrocity crimes. But it is currently $7 million short of a total $9.3 million needed for operations this year, officials said.

Tribunal spokesman Dim Sovannarom said that neither the international nor the Cambodian sides of the hybrid court have received new pledges for funding.
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Former Khmer Rouge Head of State in Court for Genocide Hearingi
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30 July 2014
Cambodia's former Khmer Rouge president, Khieu Samphan, arrived in court on Wednesday (July 30) for an initial hearing on charges for genocide, crimes against humanity, and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Khieu Samphan was at the apex of power within the Khmer Rouge, a regime responsible for the deaths of around 1.7 million Cambodians during their time in power from 1975-79. The former official, along with regime head Pol Pot's deputy, Nuon Chea, is already on trial for crimes against humanity associated with the forced evacuation of the capital Phnom Penh and the executions of soldiers. This second round of hearings centres around a far broader list of charges, and will likely have a greater significance for many survivors of the regime. (Reuters, Phnom Penh.)

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