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Cablegate: Friends of the Eccc Discuss Staffing Challenges,

VZCZCXRO1695
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHPF #0765/01 2890817
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 160817Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1268
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0229
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS PRIORITY 0124
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 2402
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0515
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 0610
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0724
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE PRIORITY 0343
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 2411

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 PHNOM PENH 000765

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS, DRL, IO, S/WCI
USUN FOR M. SIMONOFF

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/13/2019
TAGS: PREL PGOV KJUS PHUM CB
SUBJECT: FRIENDS OF THE ECCC DISCUSS STAFFING CHALLENGES,
BUDGET, AND THE WAY FORWARD

REF: A. PHNOM PENH
B. PHNOM PENH 316

Classified By: AMBASSADOR CAROL A. RODLEY FOR REASONS 1.4 (B, D)

1. (C) SUMMARY: The "Friends of the Extraordinary Chambers in
the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)" met October 7 to discuss the
judicial and administrative progress and challenges of the
court. The judicial proceedings were reported to be running
smoothly, with the substantive portion of the first trial in
Case 1 against Kaing Guek Eav (Duch) complete and
preparations for closing statements well underway. The
success of recent Public Affairs outreach activities and
strong public participation in the proceedings were
highlighted, along with the appointment of an independent
counselor. The DCM pointed out that the appointment is only
a first step, and inquired about staff awareness of the
procedures for handling allegations of corruption in the
court. The Friends Group, which includes donors and the
United Nations (UN) and Cambodian administrators, discussed
the importance of Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) permanence to
handle the appeals that have already started in case 2.
Suggesting that there will be "massive political
consequences" if the PTC issue is not addressed expediently,
the UN's Knut Rosandhaug expressed frustration at what has
become a political rather than an administrative decision.
Rosandhaug also presented a budget timeline which sets the
conclusion of donor support for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal at
2015. END SUMMARY.

------------
Achievements
------------

2. (C) Japanese Ambassador Masafumi Kuroki opened the 14th
meeting of the Friends of the ECCC by noting several
accomplishments of the court since the last meeting in May
(Ref B), specifically the agreement between the Royal
Government of Cambodia (RGC) and the UN to create an
independent counselor position for corruption issues at the
court (Ref A). The DCM added that the appointment of Uth
Chhorn as the independent counselor is only a first step in
the resolution of the corruption issue, and noted that more
needs to be done to describe and communicate the procedures
and processes involved in handling allegations of corruption
at the court. The British and Spanish agreed with the DCM's
suggestion that a fundamental framework of the position and
related activities need to be presented to all employees as
well as to donors.

3. (C) Acting ECCC Director of Administration, Tony Kranh,
admitted that it had been a challenging three years to get to
the point where the court now stands, which is at the
conclusion of the substantive portion of the first trial. He
underscored the importance of trial closing statements which
are scheduled for November 23, estimated to take three days
followed by a 2-3 month recess, with a verdict in February or
March, 2010. Deputy Director of Administration Knut
Rosandhaug expressed frustration that donors continue to
underestimate the positive and instead "harp on the budget."
He categorized the public outreach campaign with over 27,000
visitors at the court, full-time TV coverage, analytical
programs and more as a "mammoth success which has legitimized
debate on the Khmer Rouge."

-------------------
Personnel Concerns
-------------------

4. (C) Tony Kranh advocated for PTC permanence to handle the
appeals which he indicated had already begun would for case
2. Kranh argued that the budget implications would be
negligible, citing increased speed and efficiency which would
result in an overall shortened lifetime of the court.
Rosandhaug stressed the urgency of this issue given the
reliance of the co-investigating judges and trial chamber on
the PTC. Currently, it takes the PTC approximately 6 months
to produce a decision on a single appeal. Rosandhaug stated
that if this slow pace continues, the co-investigating judges
will not be able to conclude investigations by September,

PHNOM PENH 00000765 002 OF 003


2010 which would mean the three suspects in pre-trial
detention would have to be freed according to the law. That,
clearly, is the defense lawyers' strategy. Predicting
"massive political consequences" if the PTC was not made
permanent now, Rosandhaug expressed his frustration that this
has turned from an administrative decision to a political
decision. He has stressed the importance to the UN and has
filed a three-page memo, yet there has been no response. His
understanding is that the UN headquarters asked for advice
from the Steering Committee and is waiting on a response and
guidance.

5. (C) The donors suggested the UN announce the change to the
Steering Committee, supported by the ample justification that
has already been provided for that purpose, and preview the
decision privately and quietly to the two sitting
international PTC judges. According to Rosandhaug, a Dutch
judge had indicated she will not be available fulltime as she
is not willing to leave her job in The Hague. The second
international judge (an Australian) may agree if the terms
and conditions are to his liking. Although the Australian
Ambassador questioned the perceived lack of judges' salary
equitability with their international brethren at other
tribunals, all others ) including the Japanese ) appeared
to be seized with the fact that any notion of efficiency and
expediency would disappear by maintaining the current
part-time system. Indicating that the judges need to be
sitting permanently by February, the donors suggested
recruitment start now.

6. (C) The French Ambassador expressed concern that the RGC
had not selected an international co-prosecutor, and stated
that it is important to public perceptions and the good
reputation of the court to have the permanent international
co-prosecutor provide closing statements in November rather
than someone in a deputy or acting role. Kranh indicated
that this would not be possible, given the administrative
details involved in posting someone to Cambodia from
overseas, which he estimated would take 3-6 months.
Rosandhaug added that the UN Secretary General had nominated
a co-prosecutor and a reserve and submitted the letter to the
Cambodian Permrep on August 8, however the letter was lost in
transit between New York and Cambodia. The RGC will not act
on it until it receives an official, original letter and both
the UN and Cambodian sides agreed to follow up on this
embarrassing reality.

7. (C) In response to the French Ambassador's query about
where the RGC stands on the proposal to appoint a Special
Adviser to all international criminal tribunals (including
the ECCC), Kranh stated that there have been internal
discussions but no official decision has been made on the RGC
position. He reminded the group that the Prime Minister had
rejected the role of a Special Advisor in the past, but now
that the concept of the position has changed to encompass all
tribunals, it is being considered in a new light. Both
Administrators said they expect a decision by the end of
October.

-------------
Civil Parties
-------------

8. (C) Both the Cambodian and UN administrators vehemently
rejected recent criticism in the media of the court's
treatment of civil parties. Rosandhaug stated that the ECCC
has granted the most rights to civil parties ever in history,
which should be a "source of pride not criticism." There
were 94 civil parties in Case 1 which allowed for personal
representations. However, there are more than 3000 civil
parties in case 2, which requires a change in organization in
order to be effective. Rosandhaug stated that the rights of
the victims will not be diminished, but the way they exercise
those rights will have to change. The September Plenary
Session of ECCC judges decided in principle to appoint lead
co-lawyers supported by civil party lawyers, but the
sub-committee, due to meet in December, will decide on these
respective roles. The budget for the civil party lawyers
will be paid by the court.


PHNOM PENH 00000765 003 OF 003


-------------------------
Budget Timeline Thru 2015
-------------------------

9. (C) Rosandhaug presented a budget timeline to the Friends
which had the prior approval of all ECCC offices, notably the
judicial offices. The trial portion of Case 2 is expected to
start in early 2011 and last for 1.5 years. According to the
timeline, the judicial investigation of Case 3 will start in
2010, followed by the pre-trial appeal in 2012, the trial in
mid-2012 thru mid-2014, and appeals lasting until 2015.

10. (C) The international side of the court has enough money
to continue the current level of operation until the end of
2009, at which point it will have spent approximately $69
million since the inception of the court. The timeline
showed funding requirements peaking in 2010 and 2011,
followed by a significant and steady decrease in human and
financial requirements through 2015. Next year's peak
includes an increase of $5-6 million from this year for
defense, inflation and outreach. Rosandhaug stated that the
proposed budget for the international side of the court has
been submitted to UN headquarters in New York and he
estimated it will be presented to the Steering Committee
followed by the group of interested states in November.
(Note: Rosandhaug was not authorized to release the projected
budget at the meeting, however, based on the aforementioned
statement of a $5-6 million increase per year for the next
two years, an estimated budget for 2010-2012 would be
approximately $70 million. End note.) A copy of the budget
timeline has been faxed to EAP/MLS.

11. (C) The UNDP representative then made an official
announcement that UNDP has authorization to disperse the
remaining funds in its possession to the court, but will
conclude its fund management role as soon as the money is
dispersed and accounted for. It is estimated that the
release of the funds will carry the national side of the
court through the end of 2009. Donor representatives
privately commented afterward that a recent letter to the
head of UNDP has remained unanswered, and that it was another
"internal problem" the UN needed to fix quickly.

12. (C) COMMENT: This substantive and fairly positive Friends
meeting highlighted the significant achievements of the court
while also raising some current challenges. The DCM
underscored the urgency and potential for legal and political
consequences if the issue of PTC permanence is not addressed
in New York -- a point that the majority of other donors
echoed. The concerns raised by the Australian Ambassador
regarding equitable compensation were considered to be simply
personal, and were highlighted by others as such. (Note: In
a separate dinner including donors and judges, trial chamber
judge Dame Silvia Cartwright noted to the Australian
Ambassador that the judges' compensation is adequate. End
note.) The participants left with an unstated understanding
that a new Pre-Trial Chamber judge would need to be
recruited. However, according to Rosandhaug, nothing
concerning the court is ever easy, and he does not expect a
smooth implementation. END COMMENT.

RODLEY

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