[JURIST] Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone [official profile] pledged an additional $21 million in aid for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive] on Sunday during a visit to the country. This pledge [IHT report] doubles the amount of aid provided by Japan to the tribunal. In spite of the pledge, the ECCC still faces a budgetary shortfall of more than $22 million [ECCC finances website].
Japan has contributed much more aid to the UN-sponsored tribunal than any other member nation, and the latest contribution doubles its financial support. France, the UK and Germany are the next-largest donors. The US does not currently contribute to the tribunal's budget. The promise of additional Japanese aid comes in the wake of recent allegations of corruption at the ECCC. Late last week, ECCC judges denied corruption allegations made against them [press release] after a court in Phnom Penh agreed to hear a case [AFP report] against two of the judges alleged to have offered a portion of their salaries to the government as kickbacks in exchange for receiving their appointment to sit on the Khmer Rouge war crimes tribunal [JURIST report]. The court has previously been cleared of charges of financial mismanagement by an independent audit [PDF summary; JURIST report] but the audit did not address the previously raised issue of kickbacks [Phnom Penh Post report].