Two prominent former officials of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, who are being tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity, will now face another trial beginning Wednesday, BBC reported.
Former head of state Khieu Samphan and Pol Pot's deputy, Nuon Chea, will now be tried on charges of genocide against Vietnamese and Cham Muslim minorities in Cambodia. Both cases will be tried separately even as the tribunals work to speed up proceedings keeping in mind the ageing defendants, reports said. The latest trial, which is expected to continue until 2016, will focus on the roles of Chea, 88, and Samphan, 83, in murdering hundreds of thousands of people from Cambodia’s ethnic minorities, as well as address cases of rape and forced marriages.
The first trial largely focused on crimes the regime committed when they forcibly moved millions of urban Cambodians from cities to rural labor camps in an attempt to convert Cambodia into an absolute socialist agricultural society. The verdict in this trial is expected to be announced on Aug. 7.
The Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. During those years, two million people were killed or died of starvation from the Maoist regime's experiment in an extreme form of 'agrarian socialism.'
Cambodia state prosecutors are seeking life sentences against the former Khmer leaders.
Only Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, who died in 1997, and former prison chief, Kang Kek Iew, better known as Comrade Duch, have so far been convicted and jailed for their involvement in the Cambodian genocide.
Two other leaders of the regime were to be tried, but, Ieng Sary, the regime's foreign minister, died last year, and his wife, the former social affairs minister, Ieng Thirith, was deemed unfit to stand trial.
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