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In US, Tribunal Officials Seek Funding

Cambodian and UN officials for the Khmer Rouge tribunal left for New York last week in an effort to lobby donors for more cash, as the UN-backed court pursues a case against four jailed leaders of the regime.

The delegation was led by the chief Cambodian administrator, Kraing Tony, and the UN’s deputy for administration, Knut Rosanhaug, a tribunal spokesman said.

“They will attend meetings with donors and the UN about the budget,” the spokesman, Lars Olsen, said, adding that meetings will last through Friday.

The tribunal needs at least $143 million to operate through 2010. The original price tag for the tribunal was $56 million, but operations have surpassed that, while the Cambodian side of the court has required a number of emergency infusions. Most recently, the European Union gave $3 million to the Cambodian side of the court.

Observers say that with the completion of its first trial, for prison chief Kaing Kek Iev, or Duch, in October, the tribunal will be able to attract more funding. However, the tribunal is still challenged by allegations of corruption and political interference and controversy over whether it should pursue even more suspects.