could declare additional funding for the cash-strapped Khmer Rouge tribunal as early as Tuesday, Prime
Minister Hun Sen said Monday, following talks with US State Department Deputy
Secretary of State John Negroponte.
"Tomorrow, you will know," Hun Sen told reporters
Monday night. "Maybe [Negoroponte] will declare the amount of the donation
to the Khmer Rouge tribunal."
Hun Sen declined to say what amount the US would pledge, and a US Embassy
spokesman would not confirm an aid pledge.
A potential announcement of US funding comes amid mounting
financial pressure on the hybrid Cambodian-UN tribunal, where the Cambodian
side has had much of its funding frozen by donors in the wake of corruption
officials have said they will not fund a tribunal that does not meet
international standards, and the tribunal has taken some measures to
investigate allegations of corruption.
No allegations have been proven, but a 2007 UNDP audit found
mismanagement and questionable hiring practices on the Cambodian side.
Tribunal officials say they will need around $50 million,
with $40 million coming from donors and $10 million from Cambodia, before the end of 2009.
Negroponte, who is one of the highest-ranking State
Department to visit post-war Cambodia, signed
a $24 million agricultural deal with Hun Sen Monday night, following a brief
trip to the temples of Angkor Wat Sunday and talks with opposition leaders Sam
Rainsy and Kem Sokha Monday.
His visit was the mark of a strengthening relationship
between the two countries that has meant the resumption of direct US
The talks were "a positive process from the US
government," Hun Sen said. "Now we can say it is time for the
pregnant elephant to give birth."
Negroponte is expected to address the media before he leaves