TANG CHHIN SOTHY/ AFP
Former Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea appears for a hearing at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia (ECCC) in Phnom Penh, March 20.
Court seeks $600,000 for
One of the
big expenses up for debate in the ECCC’s newly revised budget is the quality of
medical care to offer the elderly Khmer Rouge defendants.
Some of the
prisoners suffer from multiple ailments and, with them in and out of the
hospital over the past few months, the Cambodian government is seeking to shift
the costs of their care over to the court’s donors.
budget proposal submitted to donors at the end of January included more than
$600,000 for projected medical expenses – or about $120,000 a year if the
tribunal is capped at five years.
existing budget has no medical expenses,” said ECCC spokeswoman Helen Jarvis.
that under the current arrangement the government of Cambodia has paid for taking care
of the five defendants since their arrest. That includes providing such items
as food, TVs, newspapers and health care.
the whole issue of medical care is now “under discussion.” Among the issues is
whether the defendants could be evacuated to a hospital outside Cambodia if
Calmette can’t handle an emergency.
already provides a 24-hour doctor and nurse rotation at the court along with an
Sary’s condition has required several lengthy hospital stays as well as visits
from international medical specialists. The court wouldn’t release details.
attorneys: you used the wrong typeface
the defense were a bit peeved with the lawyers for the civil parties, the group
consisting of Khmer Rouge victims and survivors, over their petition to
intervene in the pre-trial hearings of defendant Nuon Chea.
attorneys representing Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith signed a motion
objecting, among other things, to the civil parties using a “nine point, single
spaced typeface of the Arial Helvetica style.”
defense was careful to limit its own filing to the stated 10-page limit,” says
the March 6 motion. “This document essentially amounts to a 15-page submission.
This attempt to circumvent the page limit is unacceptable.”
Besides writing too long, the motion said the intervention by civil parties
will violate defendants’ rights to an expeditious trial and a presumption of
intervention is not permitted by Cambodian law in a pre-trial detention
hearing, it said, adding that if the pre-trial judges decide to allow civil
parties to participate, they must place limits on them.
prosecution, on the other hand, noted in its filing that criminal codes differ
from country to country, but Cambodia
does not address the issue as to whether civil parties may participate in
pre-trial detention hearings.
Cutting the cloth
The ECCC is
continuing to wait for an answer on its request for $114 million more funding
from the United Nations and donors, but donors are giving no indication what
they will do with the request.
increases in the revised projected budget go for the judiciary side of the
court, raising its budget to about $44 million from about $12 million. Due to
some changes in the way pre-trial hearings are being handled, the judges
proposed that the pre-trial chamber judges work nearly fulltime.
increases would go for
- improvement of audio
- tripling the number of translators
and interpreters who are working in Khmer, French and English.
- adding a court transcription or court
- bus services for transportation to the
- medical costs
The court staff now comprises about 230 Cambodians and about 100
foreigners, but the new budget projects “a number of increased positions,” said
court spokeswoman Helen Jarvis.
the court will be prepared if donors decide to trim the proposed revised
figures are definitely not set in concrete. What was given to the donors was a
projection of funds should the court be required to function into the first
quarter of 2011, and that is not known,” she said.
considered wiser to give a longer term projection than to possibly come back
and have to another appeal later.
have responded to those initial projections with requests for clarifications.
The numbers may well change. Of course, ultimately it’s up to the donor system
what they do and we have to cut the cloth, work within the budget that we are
Cambodian administrator Sean Visoth told the Cambodian staff on March 14 that
the Cambodian side of the court will run out of money at the end of April, not
March as previously suggested. The UN-supported side of the tribunal is funded
for several months more.
budgeted at $56.3 million (or about $11 million for each of the five defendants),
the revised budget seeks $169 million over five years (about $34 million per
the budget woes, “I think it’s unlikely that we will stop midstream,” said
chief co-prosecutor Robert Petit, adding that the existing budget may not be
sufficient to carry out the prosecution of the five defendants arrested.
“We have made a good case
why we need that money and I think everybody is on board that this is an
important process. Most people are reasonably optimistic,” he said.