Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced Australia will contribute a further $1.61 million to the Khmer Rouge trials after meeting with Sok An, the Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Cambodian Council of Ministers in Phnom Penh.
Senator Carr said Australia is a strong and long-standing supporter of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in which the Khmer Rouge trials are being held.
“This new contribution brings Australia's total support to the ECCC to $18.3 million since 2006,” Senator Carr said.
“Australia is the second largest donor to the trials.
“The ECCC's work is vital to ensure justice for the Cambodian people who endured unspeakable suffering at the hands of the Khmer Rouge.
“Australia welcomed the historic closure of the first case before the ECCC on February 3, 2012 against Kaing Guek Eav (known as Duch) the former head of the notorious Khmer Rouge prison from which 15,000 people were sent to the killing fields.
“The ECCC is now focused on its crucial second case against the three most senior surviving Khmer Rouge leaders including Nuon Chea, known as 'brother number two' to the regiment's former head, Pol Pot.
“They are charged with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
”I look forward to the ECCC continuing to work as swiftly as possible to ensure some accountability for atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge.
“The independence of the judiciary is paramount and the ECCC must be allowed to operate free from any external interference,” Senator Carr said.
The Khmer Rouge controlled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. An estimated 1.6 million people, or a fifth of Cambodia's population, are believed to have died as a result of the regime's policies.
The additional contribution will go to both the international and national sides of the hybrid court, with the former receiving $1 million and the latter $610,000.
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