The UK continued in 2012 to support the work of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia to deliver justice to millions of victims of the Khmer Rouge regime and hold to account the surviving most senior and responsible perpetrators.
In April, the trial in case 001 concluded with the Supreme Court Chamber upholding on appeal the guilty verdict on former Khmer Rouge prison guard Kaing Guek Eav, also known as “Duch”, for crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. His sentence was increased from 35 years to life imprisonment. Trial proceedings in the first segment of case 002, dealing with crimes against humanity, continued, and are expected to conclude in 2013. On trial are three of the four remaining senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime. The fourth, Ieng Thirith, was released from custody in September having been found medically unfit to stand trial in 2011. In October, the court appointed Mark Harmon from the US as the new International Co-Investigating Judge. The Office of the Co-Investigating Judges started preliminary work for the pre-trial investigations in cases 003 and 004, which will be carried out in 2013.
The court faced severe financial difficulties throughout 2012 as it struggled to attract sufficient donations to cover its budget. The UK provided £750,000 to support the national component of the court in March and £600,000 to fund the international component in November. We also lobbied other countries, including those in the region that have not previously contributed, to offer support. Our own contribution helped to ensure that the court met its 2012 budget commitments and continued its work into 2013. We also worked with other donors in pressing the UN to streamline the court’s 2013 budget and to implement efficiencies.
In 2013, we will continue to support the court to help to ensure that it is able to conclude its work. There remains a significant shortfall in its 2013 budget, which will be a priority for the UK and other donors.