Cambodia says Khmer Rouge court funds "no problem"
Thu Apr 3, 2008 3:22pm
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Cambodia is confident about securing an additional $114 million from donors to pay for the ballooning costs of the Khmer Rouge "Killing Fields" tribunal, senior minister Sok An said on Thursday.
"We will have no problem with the financial support," he told a news conference to announce a pledge of an additional A$500,000 ($459,000) from Australia towards the United Nations-backed proceedings against Pol Pot's top surviving henchmen.
The court had an initial budget of $56 million, and was expected to run for three years. However, it was slow in starting, and is now expected to run over until 2011.
Sok An said the court had enough funds to last until the end of this year.
An estimated 1.7 million died under Pol Pot's 1975-79 reign of terror as the dream of creating an agrarian utopia descended into the nightmare of the "Killing Fields".
Many victims were tortured and executed. The rest died of starvation or disease.
Five top Khmer Rouge cadres have been arrested by the court and charged with war crimes or crimes against humanity.
They are "Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea, former president Khieu Samphan, former foreign minister Ieng Sary and his wife, Ieng Thirith, and Duch, head of Phnom Penh's Tuol Sleng, or "S-21" interrogation and torture centre.
Pol Pot himself died in 1998.
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