ECCC Reparations

This blog is designed to serve as a repository of analyses, news reports and press releases related to the issue of RERAPATIONS within the framework of the Extraordinary Chambers in Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), a.k.a. the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Donor Countries To Decide On June 20 Whether To Fund KRT

Posted date: 17-06-2008
Source: Moneaksekar Khmer
By: Chan Chamnan

The Khmer Rouge tribunal, which is currently facing the budgetary, shortfalls has submitted a new budget to the standing committee of the donor countries in New York City for approval before it is submitted to the donor countries to make the final decision on June 20, 2008.
Mr. Peter Foster, Khmer Rouge tribunal’s UN spokesman, said that the tribunal has already sent the draft of its budget to New York City, and the meeting of donor countries will start next week. “For how long the tribunal will get the fund, it will depend on the donors. Do you know? There is no definite plan. Anyway, we do not need all money to be deposited in the bank but what we need is a contract. That’s all enough for us to continue the process of the tribunal,” said Peter Foster. However, Peter refused to tell the exact amount of money requested in the draft submitted to the donor countries or interested states. “Please wait until the donors get the draft of the budget first,” he said.
Experts who have close relation to the donor countries said that both Cambodian government and the UN requested only $48 millions more for continuing the process of the tribunal for two years, 2008 and 2009. Moreover, the donors have a chance to donate more funds to the tribunal from 2009 to 2010 if the Cambodian government and the Khmer Rouge tribunal are willing to arrest and try more Khmer Rouge leaders and people most responsible for Khmer Rouge regime.
The observers of the tribunal said that giving the money is not a problem for the donors but the problem is that there is no agreement between the Cambodian government and the international community on the number of suspects to be tried. Moreover, the duration of the tribunal and the different budgets between the Cambodian government and the United Nations are also problematic. Hisham Mousar, a legal expert who monitors the tribunal for the rights group Adhoc, said that the concern of the donors is not on the money but on how the money is used and the expenses of the tribunal.
Mr. Long Panhavuth, project officer for US-based OSJI, commented about the donors meeting in New York City to be held on June 20, 2008 that the donors should give more fund to the tribunal to seek justice for the victims. He further mentioned that funding should not affect the judicial process of the tribunal and the independence of the trial of the Khmer Rouge leaders. There are not any official comments from the Khmer Rouge tribunal whether the tribunal will reduce the number of its employees or not if the donors give less money than needed.
The civil societies are worried about the plan of the government to hand over the tribunal’s buildings back to the military forces in 2009 while the judicial process of the tribunal is still in progress. And whether or not the tribunal accuses new suspects is also a concern. Recently the tribunal has reduced its budget from $114 millions so that it is easy to get fund from the donors.
The Khmer Rouge tribunal plans to try the five former Khmer Rouge leaders who are still in custody in September for the mass killing of more than 1.7 million Cambodian people from 1975 to 1979. However, many groups think that the trial may be delayed till 2009 because of budgetary crisis and other problems. For instance, the tribunal has yet to issue the verdict on the May appeal hearing against the provisional detention of Ieng Thirith.

Some civil society officials and observers are not optimistic that the tribunal could seek justice for the victims because it has already spent millions of dollar without concrete results in return. And the corruption allegations are not solved yet.
Currently, the tribunal is seeking more funds while no exact date for the trial of the Khmer Rouge leaders has been set. Analysts said that if the tribunal is willing to seek justice for the victims, it should speed up the trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders being detained in the tribunal because now they still alive so they can tell the truth in the trial. But if the tribunal still delays the trial, those suspects may die because some of them are very old and some; Khieu Samphan, for instance, are seriously ill. Therefore, both Cambodian government and the United Nations should speed up the process of the tribunal so that the money is not spent worthlessly.

Unofficial Translation-Extracted from Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol 15, # 3486, Saturday and Sunday, June 14-15, 2008
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