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New York Tribunal Meeting 'Fruitful': Official

Speaking by telephone with VOA Khmer from New York, tribunal spokeswoman Helen Jarvis said the meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York Thursday was “fruitful.”

Jarvis said because it was a “closed door meeting”, she could not go into the details. However, she said what she could say was that it was attended by 20 different countries, the legal council, the UN comptroller, and the Cambodian permanent representatives to the UN and the Cambodian delegation led by chief of the Office of Administration Sean Visoth.

“Mr. Visoth was able to give a briefing to the meeting on the recent developments at the ECCC, and forward planning and there was a very fruitful discussion,” said ECCC spokeswoman Helen Jarvis.

Jarvis said that she wanted to make it clear that Thursday’s meeting was not a pledging conference.

“It was a discussion of where we are and where we are going and giving them some information, in particular, also providing the summary of the result of the special review of all the human resources management improvements in the ECCC,” Jarvis said, referring to the tribunal by its official name, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.

The hybrid, UN-backed tribunal was expected to last 3 years and cost $56.3 million. But now court officials say they need an additional $114 million and expect the trial to last until 2011.

There is a concern that the money to pay the Cambodia staff would run out at the end of April.

However, Jarvis said the latest figures show that the money will last longer than the end of April.

“We are confident because we have been making strong progress. We are not panicking at all,” said Jarvis. “We are confident that the court will continue to attract the support both morally and financial support and we will be able to keep going with this important work.”

Jarvis said she can not say when donor countries will pledge more money for the tribunal except to say that there are a lot of discussions going on about what ECCC is doing right now.