Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - KRT running on empty

KRT running on empty

KRT running on empty

By the end of June, funding for the international side of the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal will have run out, adversely affecting the ability of the tribunal to pay the salaries of staff, officials said yesterday.

Legal affairs spokesman Lars Olsen said it was a “very serious situation”.

“By the end of June, the UN side runs out of money,” he said. “Out of a budget of $44 million [for 2012-2013] there remains $28 million that has not been pledged.

“The court has faced financial challenges before, but this is a very serious situation.”

If the international side runs out of money, it will not be able to pay staff salaries, Olsen added.

Earlier this year, the Post reported on the national side of the tribunal facing similar budget woes.

Until March, Cambodian staff at the tribunal had not been paid since the previous year, with Cambodian judges having not received salaries since October 2011.

Staff from the pre-trial chamber and prosecution said they would be forced to walk away from the tribunal and seek other jobs unless they were paid, press officer Neth Pheaktra said at the time.

In a budget meeting in New York in February, representatives from Australia, Cambodia, the European Union, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom committed funds to the court, but only Australia and Japan allocated funds to the international side.

When asked about the consequences for Case 002, now under way, Olsen declined to speculate, but pointed to the problems faced by the Cambodian side during salary shortfalls.

“The court is funded only by voluntary donations,” he said.

Compared to similar tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, the Khmer Rouge tribunal runs at an extremely low cost.

Since the tribunal began operations in 2006 until the beginning of 2012, it had spent a total of $149.9 million, with $34 million allocated to the Cambodian side and $115 million to the international side.

The court for Rwanda regularly has an annual budget in excess of the total spent on the Cambodian court.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bridget Di Certo at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth

  • Final poll results confirm first single-party Assembly

    IN an unprecedented situation in Cambodian politics, the official results of the July 29 national elections have declared that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will take all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of it receiving 76 per cent of the votes. The National