Third Genocide charge at the ECCC 18 Dec 2009
Following the genocide charges brought against Nuon Chea and Ieng Sary, former Head of State, Khieu Samphan has also been charged with genocide in Cambodia.

Former Head of State in Cambodia, Khieu SamphanOn 18 December 2009, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) charged a third accused in as many days with genocide. The former Cambodian Head of State, Khieu Samphan was informed of the charge in a hearing before the Court.

As Head of State for the Khmer Rouge regime, Samphan stands accused of directing, encouraging or enforcing a brutal campaign in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979 in which the regime sought to empty the country’s cities and forge a communist utopia. Nearly two million people were killed by the Khmer Rouge, under the leadership of Pol Pot.

The new genocide charges brought by the ECCC concern the treatment of two minority groups in Cambodia in the 1970s: the Vietnamese population and the Cham Muslims. According to the Court, the Khmer Rouge targeted these populations because of their nationality and religious beliefs respectively. In addition to the new genocide charge, Khieu Samphan is also charged with crimes against humanity, including murder, extermination and other inhumane acts, as well as war crimes, including willful killing and unlawful deportation. Samphan has denied direct responsibility for the deaths committed by the Khmer Rouge.

Trial in 2011

Khieu Samphan, now in his late seventies, has been in the Court’s custody since Novemeber2007. Formal trial proceedings against Samphan are not however expected to commence before 2011.

The two other accused to face genocide charges are Nuon Chea and Ieng Sary, whilst Ieng Thirith is also in the detention of the Court awaiting trial. The trial of Kaing Guek Eav, also known as ‘Duch’, began in February.

Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

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