The Federal Government is increasing its support for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), set up to prosecute crimes committed there by the Khmer Rouge, by 1.5 million euro. The main aim is to allow the victims to play a more prominent role in the proceedings. In this way Germany is making a further contribution towards the reconciliation of Cambodian society and the strengthening of its justice system.
Over the next two years the Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), tasked by the Federal Foreign Office, will support and develop the ECCC's “Victims Unit”. This organ, designed to protect the rights of the victims, has long been called for, and is a unique feature in international criminal tribunals. Up to now victims have found it difficult to make their voices heard, and for that reason the Unit helps to inform the victims and to represent their interests.
Since 2005 the ECCC has been responsible for trying the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge during their rule from 1975 to 1979. Last year the five highest-ranking surviving Khmer Rouge were turned over to the tribunal. The UN Secretary-General has underlined his interest in the success of the ECCC by appointing a Special Representative.
Apart from Cambodian contributions, the ECCC is mainly financed from voluntary donations by the UN Member States. The Federal Government has already supported the ECCC in the past – in 2005 the Federal Foreign Office provided an initial sum of US$ 1 million, while in 2006/2007 the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) provided a further 1.5 million euro. German support to date therefore totals around 3.7 million euro (US$ 5.5 million).