Britain to help bail out Khmer court

AFP-JIJI

Britain pledged £1.4 million ($2.1 million) Monday to fund Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge war crimes court, which is close to running out of money.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said the court, which is trying top leaders of the murderous communist regime that ruled Cambodia in the late 1970s, is one of the most important since the post-World War II Nuremberg trials.

“Both the international and national sides of the court are facing severe financial shortfalls,” Hague told Parliament. “We will continue to call on international partners, including states in the region, to contribute to the court.”

The court, whose top donors include Japan, the European Union, Australia, France and Germany as well as Britain, urgently needs $9.5 million for 2013.

Some 270 of its Cambodian employees, including drivers, prosecutors and judges, have received no pay since November.

The tribunal has been hit by a string of high-profile resignations since it was set up in 2006, as well as allegations of corruption, political interference and slow progress.