Judge CHUNG Chang-ho from Republic of Korea was sworn in as a judge in the Pre-Trial Chamber in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia on 1 August 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Cambodian staff at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia have renewed threats to strike amid a deepening funding crisis. The ECCC is prosecuting crimes committed during the 1970s Khmer Rouge regime, which left a quarter of the Cambodian population dead.
About 250 staff members have not been paid since June at the United Nations-based court. One hundred of them plan to strike beginning 1 September.
The European Union pledged $4 million this week, but that money will only go to pay the salaries of the international staff members at the ECCC.
The Court is beset by interference from the Cambodian government, which does not want the prosecutions to continue. So far, the Court has handed down one conviction, that of the former prison chief called Duch, who was jailed for life for the deaths of more than 14,000 people.
The Killing Fields outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Photo by Lindsay.
The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has set June 27, 2011 as the start date for the trial of 4 top Khmer Rouge leaders charged with genocide and other crimes committed during the 1970s.
The defendants are Khmer Rouge “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, foreign minister Ieng Sary, social affairs minister Ieng Thirith, and head of state Khieu Samphan. The four are the senior-most surviving members of the hardline communist movement.
They face charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes for the deaths of two million people from execution, overwork, and starvation during the Khmer Rouge’s 1975-1979 rule. They also face genocide charges specifically related to the deaths of the ethnic Cham Muslim and Vietnamese people in Cambodia at the time.