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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Another uncertain payday at the ECCC

Another uncertain payday at the ECCC

Once again the month is coming to an end, and the court is not sure how it will pay its Cambodian staffers their salaries.

"We are optimistic we will get the money, but we don't know when," tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath said today. "It's not news. It has happened before."

Indeed it has. In March, Japan came to the tribunal's rescue at the last minute with an urgent donation of $200,000 for Cambodian staffers' salaries. UNDP, which administers international donations, has frozen funds to the Cambodian side of the court pending the resolution of corruption allegations.

Australia announced earlier this month that it would release funds to the Cambodian side of the court -- but UNDP blocked the effort.

Although, once again, it is unclear where payroll money will come from, Reach Sambath said work is "continuing as usual" at the court. But how much longer can this continue? What will become of the court if the UN and Cambodian Government cannot agree on anti-corruption mechanisms?

Susan Postlewaite explores some of the potential ramifications in this Asia Sentinel article. She points out, rightly, that "Hun Sen has the UN over a barrel because the UN doesn't want to walk away from the tribunal, but it also doesn't want to be seen supporting a court that doesn't meet international standards of justice."

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