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Khmer Rouge tribunal prosecutors file first genocide cases

[JURIST] Co-prosecutors for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive] submitted their first introductory submission [press release, PDF] Wednesday, referring factual allegations of 25 instances of murder, torture, unlawful detention, forced labor, as well as religious, political and ethnic persecution, and other crimes to co-investigating judges to bring charges against five unnamed suspects believed to be responsible for the crimes. The prosecutors transmitted over 14,000 pages of documents, including testimony from over 350 witnesses and the location of 40 undisturbed mass graves to support allegations of crimes constituting crimes against humanity, genocide, and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, as well as other violations of Cambodian and international law.

Also Wednesday, the ECCC transferred its detention facility [press release, PDF] to the custody of the Cambodian Ministry of Interior [official website], which will be responsible for the management of all detainees. The only former official of significance currently in detention is Kaing Khek Iev [TrialWatch profile], former director of the infamous Tuol Sleng Security Prison [Wikipedia backgrounder], where approximately 17,000~20,000 people were detained, tortured, and sentenced to death. The ECCC was established by a 2001 law [text as amended 2005, PDF] to investigate and try those responsible for the Cambodian genocide that occurred under the 1975-1979 Khmer Rouge [MIPT backgrounder; JURIST news archive] regime. The genocide resulted in the deaths of over 1.7 million people. To date, no top Khmer Rouge officials have faced trial. AFP has more.

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