The European Union will donate €2 million to Cambodian side of the Tribunal, which is trying former members of the Khmer Rouge accused of atrocities between 1975 and 1979.
The funding will help to pay the salaries of the Cambodian judges, prosecutors and legal support staff who will work at the Trial and Appeals Chambers over the next year. It comes on top of the €1 million donated to the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts in Cambodia (ECCC) in 2007.
The ECCC was established at the request of the Cambodian Government, and in agreement with the international community, which is not only helping to fund the trials, but also providing support in the form of legal personnel.
The funding agreement was announced as the first trial – that of former Khmer Rouge prison chief Kaing Guek Eav(known as Duch)– concluded in a guilty verdict. The defendant was found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to 35 years in prison.
‘The first sentencing of the tribunal is a historical occurrence and a unique opportunity to help to bring to closure a dark chapter of the Cambodian modern history. I hope that it will also be a start for the introduction of international law in Cambodia,’ said David Lipman, Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Cambodia.
‘The EU is the main supporter of the Cambodian side of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. We believe that this process is important to increase the standards and perceptions of justice in Cambodia. Failure to resolve governance issues is a major obstacle to poverty reduction, growth and effectiveness of aid and these issues must be addressed,’ he added.
Since 1997, relations between the EU and Cambodia have been governed by a Cooperation Agreement . Joint Committee and sub-groups meet regularly, alternatively in Brussels and Phnom Penh. The aim is to promote constructive dialogue and stimulate cooperation in a wide range of areas of mutual interest, including continuing support for the ECCC.