Sweden pays up for government at Khmer Rouge tribunal

Sweden pays up for government at Khmer Rouge tribunal

The Khmer Rouge tribunal’s national side budget has been “stabilised” for the rest of 2014, after Sweden stepped in to pay third-quarter staff salaries on the government’s behalf, the UN’s chief fundraiser for the court has said.

The hybrid court’s national side budget – which the government is obligated to fund, though it can use money from foreign donors – is $6.4 million for this year.

Cambodia itself put up $1.1 million to cover staff salaries in the first quarter. Norway covered the second quarter and most of July, and now Sweden has covered the rest of the third quarter, David Scheffer, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Expert on United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials (UNAKRT) said yesterday. “The international and national budgets of the ECCC have been stabilized, so we are not in some crisis situation with either of the budgets for the Court,” he said.

The court has been plagued by funding problems in recent years and Cambodian staff twice went on strike in 2013 to protest unpaid wages, but Scheffer said that the tribunal would face no such problems for the remainder of the year.

“We still have the fourth quarter [of] 2014 to cover, but I remain confident that we will obtain such funding in time to meet monthly payroll requirements,” he said.

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