MINISTER of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong has appealed to the Japanese government to step in with further funding for Cambodia’s cash-strapped war crimes tribunal.
Koy Kuong, a spokesman for the ministry, said the appeal had been made during a meeting last week with Japanese vice foreign minister Osamu Fujimura. Japan has so far contributed US$52 million to the court, the most of any donor.
“Hor Namhong thanked Japan for its huge assistance to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia,” Koy Kuong said.
“The Japanese government is considering the possibility of further assistance to the court.”
Court spokesman Dim Sovannarom said yesterday that the Cambodian side of the court lacked the funding to pay staffers for November and December; staff at the court’s Victims Support Section, he added, had not been paid since July.
“They do not have any money to continue smoothly their general activity,” he said.
The court convened a plenary session on Monday to amend its rules related to victim participation. A plenary session earlier this year granted the Victims Support Section an expanded mandate for “extralegal” outreach, though this has yet to be put into practice.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JAMES O’TOOLE