With $100,000, Microsoft Is 1st Private ECCC Donor

Microsoft Singapore, a division of US computer giant Microsoft CorpCK, donated $100,000 in funds to the UN side of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cam-bodia, court officials said.

This is the first donation from a private company to the court.

“It would be nice if there were more,” Helen Jarvis, chief of public affairs at the ECCC, said Tuesday.

The $56-million tribunal still faces a budgetary shortfall of nearly $8 million, most of it on the Cambod-ian side.

Jarvis said there had been discussions with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—created by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and his wife—about providing additional funding, but so far no deal had been struck.

The funding, which was disbursed in June, was put toward the court’s general operating budget, ECCC public affairs officer Peter Foster said Wednesday. “It came with no strings attached,” he said.

Microsoft has not responded to requests for comment. Aimee Segal, a spokeswoman for the Gates Foundation, said the foundation does not comment on future funding.

“The US government strongly encourages the American private sector to assist in the development of other countries,” US Ambass-ador Joseph Mussomeli, who helped facilitate Microsoft’s donation, wrote in an email Wednesday.

“The Khmer Rouge Tribunal, if properly conducted, could significantly assist Cambodia’s development through greater accountability and adherence to the rule of law,” he added.

The Microsoft donation comes as the US government has declined to provide direct funding to the court due to US Congress restrictions. During last year, the ECCC has hosted US congressional staffers involved with funding decisions as well as senior US State Department personnel, embassy spokesman Jeff Daigle said.

And contrary to some local media reports, the US ambassador did not promise to deliver funding to the tribunal at a December meeting with Cabinet Minister Sok An, he said.

Youk Chhang, the director of the Documentation Center of Cambod-ia, on Wednesday urged the Cam-bodian government to give more money to the tribunal. He also said the government has the obligation to use donated funds in a transparent manner. “People must know where their money is going and what it will fund,” he said.

   (Additional reporting by Yun Samean)




Related Stories

Latest News