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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New Briefs: US withholds trial funding

New Briefs: US withholds trial funding

The US Senate has passed legislation to continue denying financial support for the

tribunal to prosecute individuals for crimes committed under the Democratic Kampuchea

regime, 1975-79.

It also raises concern about possible attempts by China to interfere with the tribunal.

If the bill is supported and not amended by the House of Representatives, the constraint

will apply to the 2004-05 fiscal year, which began October 1.

The relevant part of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs

Appropriations Bill states: "With few exceptions the [Senate Appropriations]

Committee again restricts assistance to the Government of Cambodia and remains deeply

concerned that corruption and the absence of the rule of law undermines the pace

and direction of development activities. The Committee regrets that international

donors, particularly the World Bank, have failed to ensure the financial integrity

of programs and activities.

"The Committee again prohibits funding to any Khmer Rouge tribunal established

by the Government of Cambodia and directs the State Department to report within 90

days of enactment of this Act on the activities, if any, of the People's Republic

of China to delay or derail such a tribunal."

The committee supports up to $500,000 for the Documentation Center of Cambodia; authority

for an endowment for an American NGO to support physical disabilities rehabilitation

programs; and support for Global Witness' activities to protect Cambodia's forests.

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