EU Pledges €10 million for Khmer Rouge Trials for 2018-2019

AKP Phnom Penh, December 13, 2017 –The European Union (EU) has pledged a budget of 10 million Euro to support the process of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) or the Khmer Rouge Tribunal for the 2018-2019 period.

The financial assistance was announced by EU Ambassador to Cambodia H.E. George Edgar during a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Minister of the Office of the Council of Ministers (OCM) H.E. Bin Chhin in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, Mr. Ek Tha, Deputy Director of the OCM’s Press Department told reporters after the meeting.

According to the press officer, EU will decide by second quarter of 2018 how much would be allocated for national side and international component of the ECCC.

Cambodia’s side of the court needs US$5.8 million for 2018. Cambodia already has US$4 million and needs another US$1.8 million.

“We are seeking EU to fill up the budget shortfall for Cambodia’s side. We strongly hope that EU will complete the said shortfall,” said Mr. Ek Tha.

The Tribunal has convicted three leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime and sentenced them to life imprisonment. They have convicted “Brother Number 2” and former chief ideologist Nuon Chea, former head of state Khieu Samphan, and former chief of S-21 Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch.

Former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary died before he could be convicted, and his wife Ieng Thirith, former minister of social affairs in the regime, was found unfit to stand trial due to dementia. She died in August 2015.

EU and Cambodian sides are pleased with ECCC’s achievements—since the court’s establishment in 2006—in terms of bringing the justice, allowing victims speak at the tribunal hearings, set up archive of the court’s legacies, as well as reparations.

“What ECCC has achieved is very valuable,” said Mr. Ek Tha.

Cambodia and the U.N. continue to seek new donors and contributions from existing friends of the ECCC to support the latter to complete its mission of providing justice to nearly 2 million victims who died under the Democratic Kampuchea regime, known as ‘the Killing Fields’, which ruled the country from April 17, 1975 to January 6, 1979.