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Tribunal Budget Sees End in 2015

Khmer Rouge tribunal officials expect to finish trials at the UN-backed court by 2015, trying only 10 defendants at a cost to donors of around $100 million, according to budget documents obtained by VOA Khmer.

According to a budget proposal for 2010 and 2011, the tribunal is seeking $93.3 million to try five Khmer Rouge cadre already in detention. In an additional proposal, from 2012 to 2015, the tribunal is seeking $320,000 to potentially try an additional five Khmer Rouge cadre, who have yet to be arrested or charged.

“All offices, including the Office of Administration, are anticipated to be closed by the end of 2015,” according to the “Preliminary Budget Estimates 2012-2015.”

The 2011 budget proposal, meanwhile, anticipates a conclusion of Case No. 002, of five leaders currently in custody, by the middle of 2012. A third case could be finished by 2014.

However, Lars Olsen, a spokesman for the tribunal, said the court is committed to the judicial process, not deadlines.

“Everyone is committed to making sure that we have expedient and fair trials in all these cases, and a deadline is currently not on the agenda,” he told VOA Khmer.

Olsen confirmed both budget proposals had been submitted to donors.

Donors have not yet pledged additional funding for the new budgets, but representatives in New Yorktold VOA Khmer last week they are considering them. At least one diplomat said some donors would like to see the court wrap up by 2012.