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KRT gets Aussie boost

KRT gets Aussie boost

The Australian government pledged an additional A$3.25 million (approximately US$3.07 million) to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia yesterday, according to an announcement from Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr.

The new donation to the court’s international side brings the total contributions from Australia – currently the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s second-largest donor, after Japan – to US$20.6 million, and represents nearly one-10th of the court’s US$35.4 million budget for 2013.

“Australia will also encourage Cambodia to lobby current and potential donors to ensure the ECCC is fully supported through its remaining court proceedings,” Carr said in a statement.

In a seeming nod to past budgetary shortfalls on the court’s national side, he added that Australia would “look to the Cambodian Government to ensure that its share of the ECCC budget is fully funded and salaries paid for all national staff, consistent with Article 15 of its agreement with the United Nations”.

Lars Olsen, a legal communications officer with the court, said that while international staffers have been told that their contracts will be extended after their completion this month, both sides of the court are still in need of additional funding.

“There is obviously a significant budget shortfall on the national side, and on the international side there is a shortfall,” Olsen said. “The staff has been informed that they will get contracts through the end of September.”

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