Germany Gives $2.4M to Tribunal Victims Unit

Germany on Friday announced renewed financial support to the Khmer Rouge tribunal of 1.5 million euros, or $2.4 million, intended to support the court’s Victim’s Unit, which processes victim complaints and civil party applications.

“This organ, designed to protect the rights of victims, has long been called for, and is a unique feature in international criminal tribunals,” the embassy said in a statement, adding that Germany had already contributed $5.5 million to the court from 2005 to 2007.

Germany has provided all funding for civil party legal representation through the Victim’s Unit, which began its own fund­raising campaign earlier this year.

A January draft budget for the court allocated $700,000 and proposed five case managers for the unit, which as of last month had received 1,290 complaints and civil party applications.

The unit’s chief, Keat Bophal, said Sunday she could not disclose the current proposed funding level but said her office has two teams of lawyers and a case manager, and was recruiting for a complaints and applications manager.

“This money is very important for the Victims Unit to implement its mandate,” she said, adding that the additional funds should last the office until 2010.

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