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Khmer Rouge trial to start in Feb

Phnom Penh, Jan 21: The Extraordinary Chamber in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) have officially set February 17 as the start of the long-awaited first trial of former leaders of the Khmer Rouge, who are accused of atrocities in the 1970s, according to local media.

The first of what is likely to be series of five trials is that of former Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, said the Phnom Penh Post, citing sources from the United Nations-backed genocide tribunal.

Court documents reveal that the hearing for former prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch, will be for crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the Geneva Convention, as well as premeditated murder and torture. Duch, 66, is one of five top Khmer Rouge leaders to have been detained by the ECCC on charges of war crimes and crime against humanity.

Also in detention awaiting trial are former Khmer Rouge ideologist Nuon Chea, former head of state Khieu Samphan, ex-Foreign Minister Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith, who was the Minister of Social Affairs.

Up to two million people were executed or died of starvation and overwork under the Khmer Rouge regime from 1975-1979. The ECCC, a joint UN and Cambodia tribunal, was set up in July, 2006.

Bureau Report
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