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Cambodia genocide tribunal seeks additional funding

Representatives from the Cambodian government and the UN met Tuesday with officials from 30 countries seeking additional money to fund the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website]. The tribunal, established by the UN and the Cambodian government to prosecute former Khmer Rouge [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] leaders, faces budget shortfalls of USD $7.4 million and $39 million this year and next, respectively. The court's original budget called for only $56 million over three years at its establishment in 2006, but it is now expected to require $170 million to complete its mission. The ECCC's fundraising efforts have become increasingly difficult of late as donor nations have raised concerns over allegations of political corruption in the court.

In April, Chief Legal Counsel [official website] to the UN, Under-Secretary-General Patricia O'Brien [official profile, PDF], and Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister Sok An urged the international community [JURIST report] to provide financial support to the ECCC. The court has thus far yielded one conviction, that of Kaing Guek Eav [case materials], also known as "Duch," who was sentenced [JURIST report] to 35 years in prison for crimes against humanity in July. He later fired his international co-counsel ahead of an appeal [JURIST reports]. The prosecution also appealed [JURIST reports], seeking a longer term than the 19 years to which the court ultimately reduced his sentence.

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