Almost 40 years after the mass murder by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia that left perhaps a quarter of the population dead, two of the regime’s leading lights have been sentenced to life imprisonment.
88 year old Nuon Chea (pictured) served as the notorious Pol Pot's deputy, while Khieu Samphan, now aged 83, was head of state. The judge said they were guilty of ‘extermination encompassing murder, political persecution, and other inhumane acts.’
The Maoist regime’s speciality was to drive people out of the cities and force into the countryside, where they were worked or starved to death. Many in Cambodia have criticised the slow pace at which justice has proceeded, and a judge resigned in 2012, complaining that investigations into suspects were being blocked.
The convicted pair deny the offences and say they will appeal, though they will remain in gaol. They could also face a further trial on charges of genocide.