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

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman