Thursday, 26 June 2008

Cambodia genocide tribunal aims to complete work in 2010: officials

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
[JURIST] The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive] Tuesday announced plans to complete operations a year early and to significantly reduced its budget. Earlier this year the court announced plans [JURIST report] to operate until 2011, but has been unable to raise the funds necessary to support the plan. The court said that it would still be able to bring those accused to justice despite the cutbacks. Also Tuesday, the court released a statement [text] saying that it still needs $43.7 million to continue work through the end of 2009. The court was originally scheduled to operate from 2006 to 2009 on a much smaller budget, and financial overruns prompted an April UN audit [audit text, PDF; JURIST report] which eventually cleared the court of mismanagement. The extensions have instead been blamed on long trial delays and frequent appeals. Reuters has more. AFP has additional coverage.
The ECCC was created to try Khmer Rouge [BBC backgrounder] leaders responsible for the country's 1970s genocide, but no Khmer Rouge officials have yet faced justice. In August 2007, the ECCC brought its first charges against Kaing Khek Iev [TrialWatch profile; JURIST report], better known as "Duch," who was in charge of the notorious S-21 prison in Phnom Penh. Former Khmer Rouge official Nuon Chea [GenocideWatch report] is awaiting trial [JURIST report] for charges [statement, PDF] of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Charges have also been brought against former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan, who was arrested [JURIST report] in November 2007. In February, Samphan ended his cooperation [JURIST report] with the ECCC.

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