Bankruptcy Looms Over Cambodian Side of Tribunal

Donor countries to the Khmer Rouge tribunal have commended the war crimes court for beginning its first trial on Tuesday, a step it claims moves Cambodia much closer to achieving justice and national reconciliation. But as congratulatory messages flood in, donors remain silent on further pledges to the financially troubled chambers, failing to allay fears by officials that the court's Cambodian side looks set to become bankrupt by the end of the month, The Phnom Penh Post reported. In a press statement Wednesday, the French Foreign and European Affairs Ministry said they would continue to support the tribunal, but made no further pledges. According to the court's revised 2005 budget, the court needs an additional US$44.1 million on top of an original estimate of $56.3 million to see the court through to the end of 2009. This is allocated as $38 million to the United Nations to be raised by donor contributions, and $5.8 million to the Cambodian side of the court to be raised by the Cambodian government. Read more.