The Cambodian staff of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has lodged a protest with the tribunal’s Office of Administration over unpaid wages. In the protest letter, members of the Supreme Court Chamber as well as the translation and management offices stated that if there was no progress on their demands they could resort to other measures including temporarily halting the work of ECCC.
As per the agreement under which ECCC was set up the salaries of the international staff are paid by the United Nations (UN) while the salaries of the 300 strong national staff including judges, prosecutors, and management officials are paid by Cambodia. Although the international staff has received wages regularly, the national staff has not been paid since December. At that time, Tony Kranh, the acting director of the ECCC’s Office of Administration had said that the national side of ECCC needed a funding of US $9.5 million to operate in 2013. However, unlike the previous years, he added that the national side “received no new funding pledges from donor countries” apart from the already earmarked funding of US $1.8 million pledge from the Cambodian government and US $700,000 from Germany.
Earlier this month, the Japanese government had announced a further payment of US $2.5 million to the international side of ECCC.
Apart from financial woes, ECCC is also facing the issue of failing health of its defendants. Within a period of a week, two of the three Khmer Rouge leaders on trial, Khieu Samphan and Nuon Che have been hospitalized.