News / Asia

Genocide Trial Begins for Aging Khmer Rouge Leaders

Cambodians line up at a court entrance before a hearing to prepare for the genocide trial of two surviving leaders Khieu Samphan and Noun Chea, at the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 30, 2014.
Cambodians line up at a court entrance before a hearing to prepare for the genocide trial of two surviving leaders Khieu Samphan and Noun Chea, at the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 30, 2014.
VOA News

A United Nations-backed tribunal has begun the second trial of the two surviving senior members of the Khmer Rouge.

Ex-head of state Khieu Samphan and chief ideologue Nuon Chea face genocide charges at the trial that began Wednesday in Phnom Penh.

The two aging leaders are already set to be sentenced on August 7 after being tried for crimes against humanity in the first trial that ended last year.

IKhieu Samphan, former Khmer Rouge head of state, sits in the court room during a hearing at the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 30, 2014.IKhieu Samphan, former Khmer Rouge head of state, sits in the court room during a hearing at the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 30, 2014.
x
IKhieu Samphan, former Khmer Rouge head of state, sits in the court room during a hearing at the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 30, 2014.
IKhieu Samphan, former Khmer Rouge head of state, sits in the court room during a hearing at the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 30, 2014.

At the hearing Wednesday, Khieu Samphan appeared to be in good health, taking notes alongside his defense team. Nuon Chea did not attend.

The second trial will focus on the mass killings of hundreds of thousands of Cambodia's Vietnamese and Cham Muslim ethnic minorities.

Simach Smam, a Cham Muslim who survived the Khmer Rouge's 1975-1979 rule, was one of those attending the hearing.

"They killed many Muslim people. They cooked pork and told us to eat it. If we didn't eat it, we would be killed. They would also kill us if they saw us praying to Allah. I am so full of anger," he said.

Millions died

As many as 2 million Cambodians died during the four-year rule of the Khmer Rouge, which attempted to create a socialist utopia.

The first trial dealt with forced evacuations and the mass execution of soldiers during a civil war that lasted from 1970 until 1975, when the Khmer Rouge came to power.

The case was split into smaller trials in an attempt to deliver justice before the death of the Khmer Rouge leaders, who are in their 80s.

Lars Olsen, a court spokesman, said it is important that all Khmer Rouge victims get the chance to testify about their experiences.

"Together with the first trial, I believe the second one is necessary to get the representative picture about what really went on from 1975 to 1979. So it is very significant that all the range of criminal accusations will be addressed," Olsen said.

Former Khmer Rouge foreign secretary Ieng Sary died last year at age 87. His wife, Ieng Thirith, was later found mentally unfit for trial and released. Both had been defendants at the first trial, alongside Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan.

Former Khmer Rouge prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, better known as "Duch," is the only person convicted by the tribunal so far. He was sentenced to life in prison for his role in killing more than 14,000 people while running the Tuol Sleng torture and execution center in Phnom Penh.

The group's leader, Pol Pot, died in 1998.

You May Like

Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Unlikely Before Monday

Tension builds over possible indictment of white police officer in shooting death of black teen More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current Russian-backed rebels’ fight in east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Igor from: Russia
July 30, 2014 3:52 AM
Many Vietnamese troops sacrified their lives to liberate Cambodia from one of the most bloody regime in history. But what Vietnam recieved from their sacrification? Sactions and isolation from the West, who tried to support the Khmer Rough against Vietnam.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid