Friday, 7 November 2008

Germany contributes to Khmer Rouge tribunal

Submitted by Sahil Nagpal
on Fri, 11/07/2008
Phnom Penh - The German government committed 1.5 million euros (1.9 million dollars) over the next two years to provide legal assistance to victims of Cambodia's genocidal Khmer Rouge regime, officials said Friday.

The German foreign office has charged the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) with the task of allocating the funding, which will go towards the victims unit of the UN-backed court.

GTZ Cambodia branch director Jurgen Schilling and the court's administrative director Sean Visoth signed the funding agreement on Thursday.

The tribunal was established in 2006 and is being jointly run by the United Nations and the Cambodian Government.

The court is currently suffering a 40-million-dollar shortfall after the UN withheld a large amount of donor funding amid allegations of corruption in the Cambodian side of the court.

It is the first court of its kind to allow victims to fully participate in the trials, which investigate crimes that took place under the Khmer Rouge regime between 1975 and 1979.

The court has received more than 2,500 complaints and civil party applications from victims of the Khmer Rogue, whose brutal agrarian policies led to the death of up to 2 million people through starvation and overwork.

Five former Khmer Rouge leaders will face trial, with the first expected to begin in January 2009. (dpa)

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