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Cambodia; United Nations: Funds Sought for Genocide Court

(Apr. 22, 2010) On April 19, 2010, United Nations Under Secretary-General Patricia O'Brien, the U.N. Legal Counsel, called for donors to contribute funds to support the genocide tribunal in Cambodia. The tribunal, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), is handling cases of Khmer Rouge leaders accused of major crimes during the 1970s, including mass killings. O'Brien made her statement on the cash-flow problems of the ECCC following meetings with Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister, Sok An. (UN Legal Chief Calls on Donors to Help Fund Cambodian Genocide Tribunal, UN NEWS CENTRE, Apr. 19, 2010, available at

In their joint statement, O'Brien and Sok An asked for contributions to support both the national and the international portions of the ECCC. The tribunal, established in 2003, has judges and staff members from Cambodia and from the international community. The statement noted that “[t]he ECCC has confirmed its ability to conduct complex international criminal trials to international standards, and is living up to the hope for it to be a model court.” (Id.) They went on to say that the tribunal has attracted a great deal of attention in Cambodia, with more than 30,000 people having attended the proceedings. (Id.) The ECCC has completed the trial phase in the case of Kaing Guek Eav, who was charged with having committed torture and murder while running the S-21 detention camp. (Id.; see also ECCC website, (last visited Apr. 20, 2010); for earlier reports on the ECCC, see Constance A. Johnson, Cambodia/United Nations: Corruption Monitor to Join Genocide Court, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR, Aug. 21, 2009, available at
; & Lisa White, Cambodia: Genocide Tribunal Has First Hearing, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR, Dec. 2, 2007, available at