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The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Trial Costs More Than US $335 Million

PHNOM PENH: The spokesman of the Khmer Rouge tribunal, Neth Pheaktra, has said that from the opening of the tribunal in 2007 to 2021, the tribunal tried a Khmer Rouge leader at a cost of more than $335 million U.S. dollars, of which more than 98 million dollars came from the Royal Government’s budget.

In a press conference organized by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia on the workshop on victims on Monday morning, spokesman Neth Pheaktra said that the funds came from friendly countries to the Khmer Tribunal. Japan was the largest donor providing about 88 million US dollars, which is equivalent to 27% of the total budget. Cambodia itself was the second highest donor, Australia third, and the United States fourth.

The Chairman of the Cambodian Human Rights Committee and Permanent Vice-Chairman of the Royal Government Working Group for Supporting the Tribunal Trial of the Khmer Rouge, Keo Remy, stated that the Royal Government has always supported the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and highlighted its special features as a hybrid tribunal between the United Nations and the Cambodian courts.

He added that the tribunal has allowed victims to participate in the trial on behalf of civil parties, which other international courts do not, and said that it is an example of an international tribunal that retains the full sovereignty of the host country, a model which is being adapted by some other countries. In addition to providing justice to the victims of the Khmer Rouge, the tribunal also maintained national unity and "paid little" compared to other international courts.

He clarified that the court, "[Spent] about $22 million a year, while other international courts spend about $100 million a year.”

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal began its work in early February 2006, and has thus far completed four cases, including Case 001 on the former Tuol Sleng prison chief, Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, Case 002/01 on Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea, Case 004/01 dropping the charges against Him Cham and Case 004/02 dropping the charges against Mr. Oa An.

The ECCC is scheduled to close by the end of 2022, after more than 16 years of operation.

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