Trial begins for Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge war crimes

February 17th, 2009 - 10:50 am ICT by IANS  

Phnom Penh, Feb 17 (DPA) The historic first trial of a former Khmer Rouge leader began Tuesday in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.

Former Tuol Sleng torture facility chairman Kaing Guek Eav, known by his revolutionary name Duch, entered the court room just after 9 a.m..

Duch faces charges of crimes against humanity, torture, premeditated murder and breaches of the Geneva Conventions.

He will not be called on to testify during Tuesday’s hearing.

Five former Khmer Rouge leaders are facing trial for their roles in the deaths of up to two million people through execution, starvation or overwork during the regime’s 1975-79 rule.

Duch is the first former leader to be indicted for crimes against humanity and is the only one to have admitted guilt for his crimes.

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