[JURIST] Cambodian officials on Tuesday arrested former Khmer Rouge official Nuon Chea [GenocideWatch backgrounder] and escorted him to a hearing before the co-investigating judges of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive], the court established to try former Khmer Rouge leaders. At the hearing, the court charged Chea with crimes against humanity and war crimes [statement, PDF] and ordered him to a detention cell.
Chea was known as Brother Number Two in the Khmer Rouge, indicative of his high position in the communist movement led by Pol Pot, who died in 1998 having never been prosecuted for alleged war crimes. The Khmer Rouge is generally held responsible for the genocide of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians who died between 1975 and 1979. The ECCC was established by a 2001 law [text as amended 2005, PDF] to investigate and try surviving Khmer Rouge officials, but to date, no top officials have faced trial. AP has more.