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US To Provide $5 Million to Tribunal

US Ambassador for War Crimes Stephen Rapp told reporters Wednesday the US would provide $5 million the UN side of the Khmer Rouge tribunal, a marked increase from contributions in 2009.

Rapp is on a two-day visit to Phnom Penh, where he met with government officials, NGOs, donor representatives and tribunal officials.

Last year the US provided $1.8 million to the UN side, to assist in operations at the hybrid court, but Rapp said Wednesday more funding followed “continued progress of the court.”

The money reflected US hopes to see the tribunal through to its conclusion and help Cambodia “build a society based upon the rule of law.”

Tribunal officials have estimated a need of $42 million to fund operations in 2010.

“This is very significant contribution to make sure that the court can complete its mandate in bringing justice to the people of Cambodia, and we hope that more countries will follow the example of the US,” tribunal spokesman Lars Olsen said.

However, he added that money was needed “both on the national and international sides.”

Rapp met with Council Minister Sok An, who oversees the tribunal for the government. A spokesman for Sok An said Rapp had agreed to press Japan and South Korea to contribute to the Cambodian side of the court.