Phnom Penh, Jan 29 (Kyodo) The Japanese governmentannounced that it decided to provide a further USD 11.7million to the UN-assisted tribunal set up to try former KhmerRouge leaders.
The Japanese Embassy yesterday said that USD 8.8 millionis for the international component and USD 2.9 million is forthe national component of the Extraordinary Chambers in theCourts of Cambodia, as the tribunal is formally known.
"This contribution will cover 25 percent of the ECCC''soperational cost throughout the year 2011," it said in astatement.
The ECCC, which has spent more than80 million sincebeing set up in 2005 though it has so far convicted only oneKhmer Rouge figure, has a budget of USD 87.1 million for2010-2011.
Japan is its single largest donor, accounting for nearlyhalf of the total pledges and contributions to date.
The embassy said this year is critical for the ECCC''sjudicial proceedings with the hearings of appeal of the caseof former chief jailer Kaing Guek Ieu, alias Duch, to commenceat the Supreme Court Chamber and trials of five other KhmerRouge leaders to commence at the Trial Chamber.
Calling the trials an important part of the Cambodianpeace process, the embassy said they are intended to preventthe recurrence of the atrocities committed during the KhmerRouge regime and deliver justice to the victims.
It said they are also needed to help strengthen the ruleof law in Cambodia.
The trials of Nuon Chea, the Khmer Rouge regime''s chiefideologue, Ieng Sary, its foreign minister, Khieu Samphan, itsnominal leader, and Ieng Sary''s spouse Ieng Thirith, who wasminister of social affairs, are expected to start in thelatter half of 2011.
The Khmer Rouge leadership is blamed for the deaths of atleast 1.7 million people during its rule in the late 1970s.