A Change of Guard

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Thursday, 12 June 2008

UN at Fault if Tribunal Fails: Hun Sen

11 June 2008

Prime Minister Hun Sen called on the international community to fund the Khmer Rouge tribunal during a time of financial crisis.

A failure of the tribunal due to the lack of funds will be the responsibility of the UN, and the UN would lose its reputation, Hun Sen told the English-language Mekong Times Wednesday.

"I call on the UN and those who promised to provide money," he said. "Any failure of the court due to budget shortages is not Cambodia's responsibility."

Hun Sen's comments "show how much interest and how much support he gives to the court," tribunal spokesman Peter Foster said. "It would be disappointing for everyone if funding did not come forward and we were not able to proceed."

Tribunal administration officials are currently revising a budget proposal in an effort to bring the amount they need from donors below $114 million.

The tribunal was initially budgeted at $56 million, but officials say they need more if the courts are complete trials for five jailed Khmer Rouge leaders.

Tribunal officials will present a revised budget to donors next week, Foster said.

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