KR Trial Judges, Prosecutors To Earn $65,000

Cambodian judges and prosecutors who serve on the Khmer Rouge tribunal will earn almost $65,000 per year, or a percentage of that based upon how long they work on the trial, an official said Thursday.

Helen Jarvis, adviser to the gov­ern­­ment’s Khmer Rouge tribunal taskforce, said the tribunal budget states that Cambodian judges and prosecutors will be paid half what their foreign counterparts will make.

“That was set down by the prime minister,” she said.

The UN sent a letter to member countries in June to submit by Aug 29 the names of international jud­ges and prosecutors they would like to see nominated for the tribunal.

The international court officials will earn $129,400 per year calculated upon how long they actually work, the letter said.

The officials will start at different times and serve for varying lengths of time depending on what phase—investigation, trials and appeals—of the tribunal they are involved in.

The announced salary has spur­red excitement among Cam­bo­dian judicial officials, whose normal official salaries are only a tiny per­centage of that in any given year.

“I think judges and prosecutors are interested in working on this,” said Kim Sathavy, former director of the Royal College for Judges and Prosecutors. “It is a lot of money.”

Kim Sathavy said that besides the money, court officials want to participate in an important event in Cambodian history.

One judge who spoke on condition of anonymity said that officials who will preside over the tribunal will be faced with many challenges and pressures, including dealing with scrutiny from the international community and inside the country. The judge didn’t think it would matter.

“Of course they are interested because they will be well paid,” the judge said. “It’s much more than I earn now.”

The government has stated it is still drawing up specific criteria that court officials must meet to be ap­pointed, and has not disclosed how the judges and prosecutors will be named.

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