The European Union has pledged to provide $11.8 million to fund the Khmer Rouge tribunal in 2018 and 2019.
The promise was made yesterday during a meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Bin Chhin, the acting minister of the Council of Ministers, and George Edgar, the EU’s ambassador to Cambodia.
Ek Tha, the deputy director of the government’s Press and Quick Reaction Unit, said the $11.8 million (€10 million) will be divided between the national and international sections of the tribunal and to NGOs working on Khmer Rouge-related projects.
Mr Chhin told Mr Edgar the Cambodian government would contribute $4 million, or 70 percent of the budget, for the running of the national part of the tribunal in 2018.
The national section requires $5.8 million to carry on its work next year, so Mr Chhin asked the EU to allocate $1.8 million of its funding to that part of the tribunal.
“The EU will make a decision on how to allocate its €10 million budget in the second quarter of 2018,” Mr Tha quoted Mr Edgar as saying.
Since the establishment of the Khmer Rouge tribunal, a joint creation by the UN and Cambodian government, the hybrid court has cost $293 million to run, of which $224.3 million went on the international component and $68.7 million on the national side.
Japan has been the main contributor of funding so far.
Meanwhile, the tribunal’s pretrial chamber yesterday concluded an appeal hearing on case 004/01 against former Khmer Rouge leader Im Chaem.
The hearing came after the international co-prosecutor objected to the tribunal’s proposed closure of the case against Ms Chaem, who was a high-ranking Khmer Rouge member with allegedly close ties to Pol Pot.
According to statement released by the tribunal yesterday, the pretrial chamber will decide whether to dismiss her case or send it to trial in the second quarter of 2018.
Three former Khmer Rouge leaders, Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch, who headed S-21, Khieu Samphan, a former head of state and brother number two, and Nuon Chea, have all been sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes perpetrated during the regime from 1975-79, which killed at least 1.7 million people through starvation, overwork, disease and execution.