France pledges funds for Khmer Rouge tribunal

17th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

PHNOM PENH, Dec 17 (AFP) - France on Friday pledged EUR 3 million (USD 4 million dollars) towards Cambodia's planned trial of surviving Khmer Rouge leaders, expected to cost USD 56 million (EUR 42 million), a minister said during a visit here.

PHNOM PENH, Dec 17 (AFP) - France on Friday pledged EUR 3 million (USD 4 million dollars) towards Cambodia's planned trial of surviving Khmer Rouge leaders, expected to cost USD 56 million (EUR 42 million), a minister said during a visit here.

French minister for cooperation and development Xavier Darcos said France would contribute EUR 1 million per year for the estimated three years of proceedings to try top leaders of the 1975-79 regime, which left up to two million people dead.

"France hopes that the tribunal functions and regrets the delay in setting up this international tribunal. The Khmer Rouge who remain are old, and direct witnesses will be missing if the case is delayed," he said.

Under an agreement finalised last week after long-running talks, Cambodia will fund USD 13.26 million (EUR 10 million) of the trial's expenses while the remainder will be the United Nations' responsibility.

UN secretary-general Kofi Annan is expected to formally launch a fund-raising appeal at the start of 2005.

Surviving leaders of the Pol Pot regime are now mostly in their 70s. Only two are in detention, with several other former top officials living freely in Cambodia. Pol Pot himself died in 1998.

Darcos earlier Friday met Prime Minister Hun Sen and was later due to meet the new King Norodom Sihamoni in Siem Reap, the town nearest to the World Heritage-listed Angkor Wat temple complex.

 

© AFP

Subject: French News

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