Top Khmer Rouge leader has filed an appeal against genocide conviction


The last surviving senior Khmer Rouge leader will begin an appeal against his life sentence for his part in the regime’s atrocities in Cambodia over four decades ago next week.
Between 1975 and 1979, the Khmer Rouge, led by “Brother Number 1” Pol Pot, killed nearly two million Cambodians through overwork, hunger, and mass executions. Khieu Samphan, the regime’s former head of state, will appeal his 2018 conviction for genocide against ethnic minority Vietnamese on Monday (Aug 16).
He was sentenced to life in prison alongside “Brother Number 2,” Nuon Chea, for genocide and many other crimes, including forced marriages and rapes.
In 2014, an UN-backed court sentenced the pair to life in prison for crimes against humanity related to the deadly forced evacuation of Phnom Penh in April 1975, when Khmer Rouge troops pushed the capital’s population into the countryside. Nuon Chea died in 2019, leaving Khieu Samphan as the last living Khmer Rouge leader to appeal the historic decision.
The defence team for Khieu Samphan has petitioned the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) to reverse the ruling.
The hearing will take place from Monday through Thursday, according to Tribunal spokeswoman Neth Pheaktra. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, Khieu Samphan and his defence team will sit in a separate room from the judges, who will be in the main courtroom.


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