Saturday, 12 December 2009

Khmer Rouge court to seek more money for trying 'bigger fish'+

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 12 (AP) - (Kyodo)—A delegation from the U.N.-backed court established for trying former Khmer Rouge leaders left for New York on Saturday to seek more funding for trying the surviving and remaining four leaders as many suggest they are the "bigger fish."

Kranh Tony, acting director of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and head of the delegation, told Kyodo News before departure that the meetings with a group of donor countries will begin Monday in New York.

The four former Khmer Rouge leaders detained at ECCC's detention facilities are: Noun Chea, chief ideologue, known as Brother No. 2, Khieu Samphan, the nominal Khmer Rouge leader, former Foreign Minister Ieng Sary, and his wife Ieng Thirith, who served as minister of social affairs.

Three top Khmer Rouge leaders blamed for the past atrocities -- supremo Pol Pot, military commander Ta Mok, and security chief Son Sen -- have died.

Kranh Tony said the funding sought would be used against the four aging Khmer Rouge leaders for the years 2010 and 2011.

While Kranh Tony declined to elaborate on how much money he plans to seek, U.N. sources told Kyodo News that $80 million is expected to be pledged by the donor countries during next week's meetings in New York to extend the ECCC operation for two more years.

The ECCC concluded last month the first of two expected trials concerning the case against Kaing Geuk Ieu, alias Duch, the former chief of S-21 torture center who admitted he was responsible for the deaths of at least 12,380 prisoners under his command.

Since the ECCC began operations in 2006, about $100 million has been spent by the United Nations and Cambodia to pursue justice against the Khmer Rouge leaders, Kranh Tony said.

Japan, one of the donor countries, has so far contributed about half of the amount spent for this tribunal.

The Khmer Rouge is blamed for the deaths of at least 1.7 million Cambodians in the late 1970s.

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