Saturday, December 10, 2005

Funding shortfall continues to hamper start of Cambodia war trials

A shortfall of nearly $US11 million continues to hamper efforts to get a long-delayed genocide trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders under way in Cambodia.

Speaking during a visit by UN officials, Cambodia's top tribunal administrator Sean Visoth says the lack of money to fund the kingdom's portion of the tribunal is keeping the government from filling key positions.

He says getting the trial started "depends on how fast the money is forthcoming."

Cambodia still needs $US10.8 million to meet its obligations and has appealed to donors for help. Last Updated 09/12/2005, 22:57:09

Another $US43 million has been pledged by the United Nations.

UN coordinator Michelle Lee has acknowledged the funding shortfall, saying it is the "principal remaining obstacle" in establishing a tribunal, but she says the process is still moving forward.

Up to two million people died of overwork, starvation and execution during the Khmer Rouge's 1975-79 rule over Cambodia.

It remains unknown who exactly will be tried for genocide and crimes against humanity.

So far only two of 10 former Khmer Rouge leaders expected to come before the tribunal are in jail.

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