Khmer Rouge Leaders on Trial in Cambodia

Phnom Penh, June 27 (Prensa Latina) Four surviving members of the Khmer Rouge regime went on trial on Monday for the genocide of two million people in a five-year period.

All in the eighties, three men and a woman who were lieutenants of leader Pol Pot face charges of crimes against humanity, war, homicide, and genocide.

The defendants are Khieu Samphan, former president of the so-called Democratic Kampuchea and “Brother Number Two” of the regime; former Foreign Minister Ieng Sary; and his wife, Ieng Thirit, former minister of social affairs.

Kaing Guek Eav, head of a torture facility, was the only one already tried and handed down a 35-year sentence, later commuted to 19 years.

During the initial stage of the trial, witnesses will be chosen and the judges will decide whether Ieng Sary will be tried again, because a national court sentenced him to death in absentia in 1979, but he was granted an royal amnesty in 1996.

Ieng Sary and his wife were arrested in their mansion in 2007, and that same year security forces arrested Khieu Samphan and other fugitives in the jungle.

While the former Khmer leaders stand trial, many thousands of rank and file members of the 1975-1979 Khmer Rouge regime live in freedom among their former victims.

After Vietnam entered Cambodia to overthrow the Pol Pot regime, the Khmer Rouge remained active along the Thai border, until it was totally dispersed.

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