Four former Khmer Rouge Leaders to face trial before the ECCC 17 Sep 2010
The ECCC has indicted four Khmer Rouge leaders for war crimes in Cambodia

On 15 September 2010, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) indicted Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith, Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea, who will now face trial before the Trial Chamber.

Nuon Chea, who is 84, known as “Brother Number Two”, was the former deputy to Khmer Rouge founder Pol Pot; Ieng Sary, who is 84, was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Democratic Kampuchea; his wife, Ieng Thirith, 78, was minister of social welfare and Khieu Samphan, 79, was the former Head of State.

The four were charged with crimes against humanity committed under the Democratic Kampuchea regime, between 17 April 1975 and 6 January 1979 (which, according to the demographic survey produced during the investigation, resulted in millions of victims, including an estimated 1.7 to 2.2 million deaths, of which approximately 800,000 were violent). They also are accused of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, genocide of the Cham Muslims and of the Vietnamese under the Pol Pot regime, and offences under the Cambodian Criminal Code 1956, in particular murder, torture and religious persecution.

The four newly indicted leaders have been in detention since their arrests in 2007, and all have denied the charges against them. They are due in court in January for a procedural hearing, followed by substantive court sessions later in the year.

The indictments follow the conviction in July of the regime’s chief jailer, Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture, and murder. He was sentenced to 19 years in prison. Prosecutors are appealing for a longer sentence, while Duch has filed his own appeal seeking an acquittal.

“Given the magnitude of the crimes committed under the Khmer Rouge”, the case will focus on “a specific selection of sites and criminal activities”, the tribunal said in a statement. Their public trial will likely begin in mid-2011.

Several other major Khmer Rouge figures have died, including supreme leader Pol Pot in 1998 without being brought before a court.

Page Tools
Share |
Related Links

   Radio Netherlands Worldwide