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Cablegate: Friends of the Eccc Discuss Budget and Judicial

VZCZCXRO7770
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHPF #0026/01 0140910
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 140910Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1550
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0232
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS PRIORITY 0129
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 2414
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0518
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 0613
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0733
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE PRIORITY 0346
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 3330
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 2425
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 1728

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PHNOM PENH 000026

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/13/2020
TAGS: PREL PGOV KJUS PHUM CB
SUBJECT: FRIENDS OF THE ECCC DISCUSS BUDGET AND JUDICIAL
CALENDAR

REF: 09 PHNOM PENH 765

Classified By: DCM THEODORE ALLEGRA FOR REASONS 1.4 (B, D)

1. (C) SUMMARY: During a three-hour meeting January 11 which
was both active and at times exceedingly technical, the
"Friends of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of
Cambodia (ECCC)" discussed the budget request for 2010-2011
as well as the preliminary budget estimates for 2012-2015.
The Friends Group, which includes donors and the United
Nations (UN) and Cambodian administrators, showed general
support for the proposed budget, which includes salary
increases for staff, but actively questioned several budget
line items, demonstrating their desire to cut costs where
possible. Describing 2011 as the "peak pain threshold" for
donor funding, the UN's Knut Rosandhaug indicated that
funding requirements would begin to decrease by the end of
2011 and broached the subject of transferring case 003 to the
domestic court to further reduce the total amount required
for the tribunal. The role of a proposed Strategic Planner
was debated, with Japan and Australia arguing that the
position is not needed and duplicative, contrary to the U.S.
and UK view. The Friends, surprised to see a budget line
item for the Independent Counselor, requested further
information and also briefly discussed the status of the
Special Advisor. Finally, the Japanese Ambassador ended the
meeting by expressing his government's concern with the
extension of the judicial schedule (case 002 was originally
projected to end in 2011) and requested a mechanism to inform
donors regularly on schedule progress. END SUMMARY.

BUDGET PAIN THRESHOLD
-----------------------

2. (C) Based on anticipated needs of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
(KRT) for the coming two years, the ECCC's budget request
totaled $46 million for 2010 and $47.3 million for 2011 (the
international side of the court accounts for approximately
75% of the total amount each year). The French Ambassador
frankly asked both the national and UN administrators for
specific dates of when they will have no more funds. Tony
Kranh, ECCC Director of Administration, stated that the
national side will run out of money in February. The EU has
pledged 2 million Euro, pending both an international agency
to implement the funds (UNOPS has unofficially expressed
interest), and the amendment of financing agreements. The EU
representative estimated the funds may be available in May.
Rosandhaug stated the international side has funds to see it
through April, as well as a cash reserve which, after
approval from the Steering Committee, could buy another few
weeks. The Japanese Ambassador suggested making an
international appeal for donors, and to suspend non-urgent
expenditures now.

3. (C) In a methodical, line-by-line scrutiny, the donors
gave general approval of the budget as a whole.
Specifically, the donors supported salary increases for staff
and judges. Stating that it is "crucial to retain these
judges (with experience)," Rosandhaug suggested the Steering
Committee will approve the positive adjustment of salary for
the judges if no objection is received by January 15.

STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS CONFUSION
------------------------------------

4. (C) The group split, however, on the topic of the creation
of new staff positions, specifically that of the Strategic
Communications Officer (SCO). The Japanese Ambassador stated
he does not support the new position given that there is
existing staff supporting this role. The Australian
Ambassador agreed, and said she "remains skeptical and
doubtful" of the role this person would play. Charge
d'Affaires (CDA) and the UK Ambassador argued that the role
is fundamentally different from that of Public Affairs, and
that the need for a serious, professional, pro-active
approach to the court and its legacy should not be ignored.
While some donors understood the role of the SCO would be
focused on the legacy of the court, others thought it was

PHNOM PENH 00000026 002 OF 002


intended to provide media policy going forward. The Japanese
Ambassador suggested that (proposed Special Advisor) Clint
Williamson "give the strategic guidance" if it is deemed
necessary. When asked for an update on the Special Advisor
position, Rosandhaug replied that the UN is simply "waiting
on funding" before a Special Advisor could be appointed.

SURPRISE OVER IC OPERATIONAL BUDGET
------------------------------------

5. (C) When the group reached the contractual services
portion of the budget, all donors seemed surprised by the
dollar amount ($145,600 for two years shared evenly between
the RGC and the UN) affixed to the function of the
Independent Counselor (IC). Questioning when and how the
amount was determined, the French Ambassador stated, "We all
expected less." The donors indicated that detailed reports
will be required, and that they are also interested in the
basic role and activities of the IC as that mechanism is
implemented.

JUDICIAL SCHEDULE
-----------------

6. (C) Although both administrators expect to keep to the
current timeline, which was created in consultation with the
judges, the dramatics of the final day of Duch's trial, in
which he asked for acquittal, increased the likelihood of an
appeal in Case 001. The swiftness of Case 002 will depend in
part on Pre-trial Chamber permanence (Reftel), but is
expected to go to trial in early 2011. Case 003 is scheduled
to begin as soon as human resources are available from Case
002. Rosandhaug emphasized that the slow start of Case 003
is not due to objections from the Cambodian government, but
rather to the need to capitalize on the capacity and
institutional knowledge of the current staff, who will first
concentrate on Case 002 before phasing into Case 003.

7. (C) Rosandhaug informed the donors that at the end of the
final closing order for Case 003, the law stipulates that all
residual matters of the court be transferred to the ECCC.
However, according to Rosandhaug, in 2012 there will be a
larger capacity on the national side to handle Case 003 and
suggested that the law could be changed to transfer that case
entirely to the domestic court (for this to happen, the
Parliament would have to repeal the current law and
promulgate a new law). He emphasized that the question is
about who will try the case, not the existence of it. The
CDA urged the UN and Cambodian government to initiate
discussions on the topic to give it the modality and
attention it deserves. The Japanese Ambassador agreed, again
suggesting it may become "the work of Ambassador Williamson."


8. (C) Comment: This 15th meeting of the Friends of the ECCC
was substantive, but also revealed gaps in either
communication or understanding between the UN, the Cambodian
government, and the donors. There was confusion by all
parties regarding whether the Strategic Communications
position would be more media or legacy focused, and a general
consensus that the job description needs to be clarified.
Furthermore, the donors requested more transparency and
information be shared regarding the IC. The lack of
information on the IC's budget served to highlight the
overall dearth of information on the implementation of the
IC's position. The Japanese Ambassador underscored
everyone's desire for better communication by requesting a
mechanism whereby the court monthly updates donors on the
schedule progress, including explanations and steps taken to
address delays. End Comment.
RODLEY

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