Last living Khmer Rouge leader gets life sentence

The Cambodia Tribunal has upheld the life sentence for Khieu Samphan on appeal. The now 91-year-old man is the last Khmer Rouge leader still alive. He was convicted of the Cambodian genocide of the 1970s.

Source: BELGA

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Samphan was sentenced to life in prison in 2018 for his role during the dictatorial rule of Pol Pot (1975-1979). He was found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. On appeal, only a few convictions for specific murders have been overturned.

The elderly Samphan listened to the judge’s verdict in a wheelchair. Survivors of the reign of terror of the Khmer Rouge and relatives were also present in the room.

Samphan was Cambodia’s head of state during Prime Minister Pol Pot’s brutal communist regime. His ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge, the military wing of the party, wanted to build an agrarian society and deported people to the countryside. In those four years, 2 million people, a quarter of the population, died from hunger, torture, forced labor and mass executions.

Samphan’s conviction was the latest ruling by the Cambodia Tribunal, which is supported by the United Nations. It ultimately prosecuted five leaders, two of whom died in the process. Pol Pot has never been held accountable for his actions. He died in 1998, before the court was set up.

© AFP

The article is in Dutch

Tags: living Khmer Rouge leader life sentence

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