Accessibility links

Breaking News

UN-Backed Tribunal Orders Ex-Khmer Rouge Leader to Stay in Jail

The United Nations-sponsored genocide tribunal in Cambodia has rejected a request for bail for a senior member of the notorious Khmer Rouge regime.

The tribunal ruled Thursday, that 81-year-old Nuon Chea must remain in custody while he awaits trial on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Nuon Chea was the deputy closest to Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, who ruled Cambodia in a reign of terror between 1975 to 1979. He appealed to the tribunal that he was not a threat to the public, and would not attempt to leave the country.

Nuon Chea is one of five former Khmer Rouge leaders detained by the tribunal.

At least 1.7 million people died of starvation, overwork, disease, or torture during the rule of the Khmer Rouge in what came to be known as "the killing fields." Cities were emptied, schools were closed, and religion was banned.

It is considered one of the 20th century's worst atrocities.

Pol Pot died in 1998.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.