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H.E. Kranh Tony, Acting Director of the Office of Administration, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, met with all officers and staff of the court’s national side on Friday afternoon, and informed that there would not be fund available to pay their salary beginning from January 2012.
After having appreciated all officers and staff of the national side for their successful endeavour thus far, particularly in the historic achievement of Case 001, whose final judgment is due to be pronounced next week, H.E. Kranh Tony stated that the financial shortage was a challenge of serious concern for the court.
H.E. Kranh Tony also reminded that funding for the ECCC comes from two major sources: financial contributions from the Royal Government of Cambodia and voluntary funding from Friends of the ECCC. The contributions from the Royal Government of Cambodia have been made on a timely basis to support the court’s general operations, including utilities, building repair and maintenance, bus services for all national and international staff, health care services for the accused, and the court’s outreach works. The funding source for covering the national side’s staff salary relies totally on the voluntary funding from Friends of the ECCC. Key donor countries for the national side include Japan, the European Union, Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Like last year, this year once again has seen the national side facing a more serious funding shortage, especially for national judges and prosecutors as well as their legal officers, who have not got paid since October 2011. Such a delayed payment of the salary has indeed demoralized all national staff.
In such a situation, H.E. Kranh Tony hopes that the ECCC’s key donor countries will provide bridging funds to sustain the court’s work and to avoid disrupting the current active and smooth hearing process. The best solution for the future is that funding for the entire ECCC should be made available on a timely basis, and simultaneously to both the United Nations and Cambodian sides of the court to ensure sustainability and efficiency.