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Japan Adds $3 million to Tribunal Budget

Japan will donate $2.95 million the Khmer Rouge tribunal, to cover the wages of Cambodian administration staff, the embassy announced Tuesday.

The money will be added to donations by France and Australia, totaling $1.5 million, which have already made operation of the Cambodian component of the tribunal feasible through the end of 2008.

"There are five detained [former Khmer Rouge leaders], and the investigation is ongoing to find their criminality," said Yoshimatsu Kaori, third secretary at the Japanese Embassy in Phnom Penh. "With this additional assistance, we hope that the process will bring more justice and equity."

Japan is the largest donor to the tribunal. In 2005, it gave more than $21 million to the UN side of the hybrid courts, ending an early financial crisis at the tribunal. That was nearly half of the UN's $43 million estimated for three years of tribunal operation.

The $3 million comes as the tribunal is submitting a report on its financial need to donors in New York. Tribunal administrators submitted a revised budget to a steering committee of donors Monday, and a full meeting and presentation is expected Friday.

The revised budget comes to nearly $100 million, reduced from a figure submitted to donors in January of $114 million.

"We are extremely appreciative of Japan's announcement," tribunal spokeswoman Helen Jarvis said by e-mail Wednesday. "This comes at a very opportune time, as the donors are meeting in New York to consider the court presentation of its needs in the coming period."