US to provide funding for Cambodia genocide court: ambassador

[JURIST] The US will begin providing direct financial aid to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive] once the genocide tribunal takes adequate measures against corruption, stated outgoing US Ambassador Joseph Mussomeli [official profile] on Monday during his final press conference in Phnom Penh. The UN-sponsored court was established to try former Khmer Rouge [BBC backgrounder] leaders accused of committing genocide during the 1970s, but has received little funding from international donors due to allegations of kickbacks and other irregularities [Phnom Penh Post report]. Cambodian Information Minister Khieu Kanharith announced Sunday that a draft anti-corruption law would be presented to the National Assembly [official website] next month when the newly elected body convenes. The proposed law, advocated by donor nations [JURIST report], has been in the works for more than a decade. AFP has more. Xinhua has additional coverage.

In June, the ECCC announced it had significantly reduced its budget [JURIST report] and would complete its work a year early, in 2010, because of the shortfall. An independent audit earlier this year cleared the ECCC of financial mismanagement [JURIST report]. Among the Khmer Rouge leaders awaiting trial is former prison chief Kaing Guek Eav [TrialWatch profile], also known as Duch, who was indicted last month [JURIST report] on charges of crimes against humanity and violations of the Geneva Conventions.

 

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