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Australia pledges A$3.25 mill. for Khmer Rouge trial


Australia has made a new pledge of A$3.25 million (US$3.09 million) to the U.N.-supported Khmer Rouge tribunal in Cambodia, according to a statement released Wednesday.

"The ECCC hearings play a vital role in delivering justice for the Cambodian people, who endured unspeakable suffering at the hands of the Khmer Rouge," the statement quoted Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr as saying when he delivered the new pledge Tuesday.

With the new pledge, Australia's financial assistance to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia will reach A$23 million.

Australia is the second largest international donor to the ECCC, after Japan.

"This contribution comes at a time when the Trial Chamber is in the final stages of the evidence hearings in Case 002/01, and will ensure that the international component of the ECCC will be able to continue its operations without interruption," said Kranh Tony, acting director, and his deputy Knut Rosandhaug of the ECCC's Office of Administration.

Since the ECCC began to operate in 2006, four senior Khmer Rouge leaders have been charged, but only Nuon Chea, the second-man in command, and his senior colleague Khieu Samphan, former head of state, are being tried.

Ieng Sary, former foreign minister has died and his wife Ieng Thirith, former minister of social affairs, was excluded due to mental disability.

The Khmer Rouge regime is blamed for the deaths of 1.7 million Cambodians in the late 1970s.