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Former Cambodian Khmer Rouge leader denies 'killing fields' genocide

[JURIST] Former Khmer Rouge [JURIST news archive] leader Nuon Chea, who faces genocide charges in connection with the deaths of some 1.7 million people in Cambodia's notorious "killing fields" in the 1970s, denied in an interview published in the Phnom Penh Post Friday that Cambodia's communist regime committed genocide in the 1970s, saying the regime had no reason to kill its own people. Chea, who was the deputy of late Khmer Rouge chief Pol Pot, also said any document that links him to crimes against humanity has been manipulated. He will likely be tried before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) later this year. AP has more.

In early December, Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] accused the Cambodian government of delaying the genocide tribunals and interfering with the tribunal's judicial independence [JURIST report]. The ECCC was established by a 2001 law [text as amended 2005, PDF] to investigate and try those responsible for the 1975-79 Cambodian genocide. Although prosecutorial investigations are ongoing, no top Khmer Rogue officials have yet faced trial and questions have been raised concerning exactly how many of the Khmer Rouge's top officials will face the tribunal, as several of those responsible for the genocide have died [JURIST report] in recent months and others are in failing health.

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