The UN side of the Khmer Rouge tribunal could run out of
funding as early as the end of October and definitely by the end of the year, a spokesmen said Thursday, but he expressed confidence donors would continue to support the courts.
"We know the funds we have will only last through the
fourth quarter of 2008," said Peter Foster, a spokesman for the UN side of
the tribunal. "That means it could run out of money in October or September,
or it could last all the way through December, depending on how much we spend
each month. With the money we have, it's almost impossible for us to continue
beyond the end of the year, no matter what adjustments we make. Then we are
truly out of money."
However, tribunal administrators were "very
confident" of getting the funding necessary to continue proceedings against five jailed leaders of
the regime, Foster said.
"There is no panic about us not receiving the
money," he said. "The donors have expressed their approval over the
revised budget, and it's just a matter of finding out when and who will be
The UN has enlisted the aid of special expert David Tolbert,
who spent the last two weeks in Cambodia
and left Thursday. Tolbert, who met with Deputy Prime Minister Sok An on his
visit, is traveling from country to country to seek additional funding from
Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath said Thursday the UN side
of the courts did not have more funding from the international community to meet
new budget requirements for continued operation through the end of 2009.
The new requirements seek $40 million for the UN side and
$10 million for the Cambodian side.
There has been little contribution from the international
community since fresh allegations of kickbacks arose
has so far donated $1 million to the courts, including $250,000 to the Cambodian
side earlier this year.
The Cambodian side is still looking for more than $6 million
to complete its requirement, following donations from Japan, Australia
and $1 million from the Cambodian government.