PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – The European Union will provide $3 million in additional funding for Cambodia's Khmer Rouge genocide trial, an EU official said Wednesday.
The brutal 1970s rule of the Khmer Rouge left an estimated 1.7 million people dead from torture, execution, disease and starvation. A verdict is expected early next year in the tribunal's first trial for Khmer Rouge prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, who is charged with crimes against humanity, war crimes, murder and torture.
The tribunal, mostly funded by donations from foreign donors, has faced budget problems with the $56.3 million originally earmarked proving inadequate.
The EU made its decision to provide more funds after discussions with other donors about allegations of corruption and mismanagement at the U.N.-assisted tribunal, said EU delegation charge d'affaires Rafael Dochao Moreno.
Dochao said the EU had been reassured by the dismissal of a Cambodian tribunal official accused of corruption and the creation of a mechanism to deal with such allegations in the future.
The estimated cost of carrying out the tribunal's work through 2010 is $143 million. It is unclear how much of that has been raised so far.
The EU has already contributed $1.5 million to cover the salaries of the Cambodian judges, prosecutors and legal support staff, Dochao said.
Separately, the tribunal announced Wednesday it has appointed a new international prosecutor whose most recent job was defending former Liberian President Charles Taylor at his war crimes trial.
Andrew T. Cayley of Britain, who has also served as a prosecutor at international war crimes courts, was named to the post left vacant in September by the resignation of Canadian co-prosecutor Robert Petit, the tribunal said in a statement.
Taylor, accused of providing arms to Sierra Leone rebels in exchange for diamonds mined by slave laborers, ended 13 weeks on the witness stand earlier this month at the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
The tribunal also said American Nicholas Koumjian was appointed reserve co-prosecutor.
Other than Duch, the tribunal is also holding four former senior Khmer Rouge leaders in custody, and they are expected to be tried next year or later.