The European Union is set to come to the rescue of unpaid Cambodian staff at the Khmer Rouge tribunal by contributing about US$1.7 million to the Cambodian side of the court, officials said last week.
Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post
Activities taking place during case 002 at the tribunal.
Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union Jean-Francois Cautain met last week with Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, who also heads the taskforce on the tribunal.
“The EU has made a provisional allocation of a further 1.3 million euro for the national side of the ECCC,” Cautain said by email.
“This contribution, through UNOPS [the United Nations Office for Project Services], will be concluded in the near future.”
Under the framework established by the UN and the Royal Government of Cambodia, the Cambodian government is responsible for payment of national staff salaries.
However, officials at the tribunal have repeatedly said this has not been the practice.
Members of the tribunal’s management team return to Cambodia early this week after presenting the budget plan for the court to donor countries in meetings in New York.
Tribunal spokesman Neth Pheaktra told the Post yesterday that due to donors’ receptivity at those meetings, it was likely there would be no walk-outs from staff who, earlier this month, had threatened to leave until their salaries were paid.
Court monitor Open Society Justice Initiative in a report last week highlighted the lack of transparency around the court’s budget and noted the budget was highly likely to be impacted by the current dispute over the appointment of UN-nominated reserve international Co-Investigating Judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet.
When Kasper-Ansermet’s predecessor, German judge Siegfried Blunk, was in office, the budget for government-opposed cases 003 and 004 expired at the end of 2011, when investigations were expected to be concluded.
Kasper-Ansermet recently reopened Case 003, which was closed last April, and resumed investigations.