Britain To Donate $1 Million For KR Tribunal

Britain announced an immediate contribution of nearly $1 million for the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal Thursday, the Bri­tish Embassy said in a statement.

Douglas Alexander, Britain’s foreign minister, met with Cam­bo­dia’s Justice Minister Ang Vong Va­thana in London Thursday, to dis­­cuss the tribunal and judicial re­form, the embassy said.

At the meeting, Alexander an­nounced a $940,900 contribution to the tribunal, the statement said.

Holding the trial “is not only about addressing the iniquities of the past,” the statement quoted Alex­ander as saying. He added that it will also help strengthen the current rule of law.

“This is crucial if [Cambodia] is to end the culture of impunity that has prevailed…since the era of the Khmer Rouge,” he said.

Helen Jarvis, adviser to the government’s tribunal task force, welcomed Britain’s contribution Fri­day. “We’re delighted there is more be­ing pledged,” she said, adding that she hoped the tribunal will start in a few months, after the need­ed $56.2 million has been raised.

Jarvis added that Japan and the European Union are both considering contributing to the cost.

In a Thursday statement com­me­morating the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp, Sok An, deputy prime minister, noted 2005 is the 30th anniversary of the fall of Ph­nom Penh to the Khmer Rouge.

“This year…we expect to establish a court to try those responsible” for genocide, Sok An said. “We ask all peoples and governments to join with us in carrying out this task.”

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