PHNOM PENH: Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge trial entered a crucial phase on Wednesday with closing statements in the case of former regime leaders accused of masterminding one of the worst horrors of the 20th century.
More than three decades after the country’s “Killing Fields” era, the United Nations-backed court is moving closer to a verdict in the case of “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, 87, and former head of state Khieu Samphan, 82.
Lawyer Pich Ang, representing victims, described the Khmer Rouge as “one of the most heinous regimes history has ever known.”
Led by “Brother Number One” Pol Pot, who died in 1998, the communist Khmer Rouge wiped out up to two million people through starvation, overwork and execution in the late 1970s.
The trial, which began hearing evidence in late 2011, is widely seen as a landmark in the nation’s quest for justice.
The defendants deny charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.