KRT Facing Budget Shortage as Small Aid Granted
Up to now the special tribunal is still facing lack of large amount of budgets as fund request for millions of dollars has not been met from international community and donors. For the last period, only Japan, Australia, France and Germany have made its announcement to grant additional aid. Besides, no response has been made, according to an ECCC’s official who speaks on condition of anonymity.
The similar source says the U.S., the initiative for the special court establishment, has yet to grant its assistance. Now the U.S. is closely observing the process of the Khmer Rouge tribunal (KRT), but the budget funding is in a quiet state. The aspect could prompt the KRT to run out of its budget in this late 2008, if the donor countries for the KRT do not offer the assistance on time.
Recently, the source closed to the KRT said that the Extraordinary Chambers plans to end the hearings of appeal by the former Khmer Rouge leaders against provisional detention in September or October. But the major issue is that the KRT is now short of budget. Cambodian side and international side of the tribunal continue to seek more funds to complete the shortage in order that the KRT’s proceedings are not in a stalemate.
Now the five former Khmer Rouge leaders and those most responsible who are being detained at the KRT awaiting trial over war crimes and crimes against humanity include Nuon Chea, former People’s Representative Assembly president and Brother Number 2, Ieng Sary, former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Khieu Samphan, former Head of State, Ieng Thirith, former Social Affairs Minister, and Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, former chief of Tuol Sleng prison.
The Extraordinary Chambers plans to hold the hearing of Khieu Samphan’s appeal against provisional detention in the near future following an adjournment of 23 April 2008 hearing, according to an unofficial source. But the problem is that Dr. Say Bory has resigned from his position as Cambodian defense lawyer for Khieu Samphan with a reason of his ill health. Now the arrangement of Khieu Samphan’s new lawyer has not been met.
National and international observers have voiced a big concern over the jailed former senior KR leaders’ health. That those leaders are now aging and seriously ill may lead to their demise before the official trial takes place.
Observers noticed that Ieng Sary and Khieu Samphan are in poor health and seriously ill and have often been taken to Calmette Hospital lately. If the trial is delayed, they may die before facing trial like Ta Mok, former Khmer Rouge commander while the major evidence can be lost.
Nuon Chea once said that KRT was a battlefield between patriots and invaders. But in his appeal against provisional detention, Nuon Chea did not testify crime mysteries under his reign. In contrast, Nuon Chea turned to appreciate the current Cambodian’s People Party vice president Hun Sen-led government.
The Khmer Rouge victims want the genocide tribunal’s proceedings soon in order to reveal the Khmer Rouge masterminds and the massacre motive of more than 1.7 million Cambodian people. If there is a trial postponement, the former senior KR leaders could die before being brought to justice and the Cambodia-UN efforts will become useless.
The observers over the tribunal do not believe that it will be able to seek justice for Cambodian people. Obviously up to now, the tribunal has spent its budget of millions of dollars but has not got any remarkable result. Currently, the ECCC officials are making their effort to seek additional funds to meet the financial requirement of the irregularity-corruption ravaged tribunal which is now under criticisms by national and international circles.
Unofficial TranslationExtracted from Moneaksekar Khmer – Vol 15, #3514, Thursday, 16 July 2008.