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Monday, March 24, 2008

Cambodia genocide tribunal seeks additional $114 million to fulfill mandate
Alexis Unkovic at 2:53 PM ET

[JURIST] Officials from the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive] made a formal request to the United Nations [official website] Monday for $114 million in additional funds to allow the court to continue operation past its originally scheduled completion date in 2009 until March 2011. An ECCC planning document [JURIST report] reported by AP last month indicated the court would ask for the increase; if granted, it would raise the court's budget from $56.3 million to $170 million. The ECCC currently has five former Khmer Rouge [JURIST news archive] leaders in custody charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity for their roles in the Communist regime of the 1970s. AP has more.

The Khmer Rouge is generally held responsible for the genocide of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians [PPU backgrounder] who died between 1975 and 1979. The ECCC was established by a 2001 law [text as amended in 2005, PDF] to investigate and try surviving Khmer Rouge officials, but to date, no top officials have faced trials. In December 2007, Cambodian students and Buddhist monks held protests [JURIST report] over concerns that the trials were moving too slowly and that many former Khmer Rouge leaders in UN custody could die before facing justice. The ECCC has cited disputes with the Cambodian Bar Association [JURIST report] over membership fees for foreign lawyers, as well as procedural issues [JURIST report] and the language barrier for delays in moving to the trial stage.

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