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Cambodia: UN-backed tribunal charges senior Khmer Rouge figure

Cambodia: UN-backed tribunal charges senior Khmer Rouge figure

The United Nations-backed tribunal in Cambodia set up to try Khmer Rouge leaders accused of mass killings and other horrific crimes during the late 1970s today announced that a senior member of the group has been arrested and charged.

Nuon Chea, who press reports state was also known as “Brother Number Two” in the Khmer Rouge regime that ruled Cambodia between April 1975 and January 1979, was brought before the co-investigating judges of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in the capital, Phnom Penh, after an arrest warrant was executed.

The co-investigating judges charged Nuon Chea with crimes against humanity and war crimes and placed him in provisional detention.

Under an agreement signed by the UN and Cambodia, the ECCC was set up as an independent new court using a mixture of Cambodian staff and judges and foreign personnel. It is designated to try those deemed most responsible for crimes and serious violations of Cambodian and international law between 17 April 1975 and 6 January 1979.