Khmer Rouge: Final verdict against murderous Pol Pot regime

Phnom Penh (dpa) – With a final judgment against a former leader of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia , the special court to punish the crimes of the murderous Pol Pot regime has ended its work after 16 years.

The United Nations-backed tribunal in Phnom Penh on Thursday rejected the appeal of the last survivor of the then government, Khieu Samphan. The 91-year-old was found guilty of genocide in 2018. On the other hand, he appealed.

In his final statement he had rejected the allegations last year. Even if he were acquitted, he would have remained in prison, as Khieu Samphan was sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity in 2014. The verdict was upheld in 2016.

Coming to terms with the rule of the Khmer Rouge

The tribunal to review the rule of the Khmer Rouge under dictator Pol Pot was founded in 2006. Overall, the court found three suspected masterminds of the “Khmer Rouge” guilty and sentenced: the chief ideologist Nuon Chea, who died in 2019, the former head of the S-21 torture prison, who died in 2020, Kaing Guek Eav aka Duch, and ex-head of state Khieu Samphan. The court costs are reported to have totaled more than 330 million euros.

The Khmer Rouge wanted to create a moneyless peasant state. They forced everyone who could read and write into the fields. Between 1975 and 1979 an estimated 1.7 million people died as a result of forced labour, famine, torture and murder.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220922-99-854912/2

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