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.”