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Khmer Rouge tribunal expects cooperation from former second-in-command

[JURIST] Former Khmer Rouge official Nuon Chea [GenocideWatch backgrounder] has expressed his desire to cooperate fully with the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive], the court established to try former Khmer Rouge leaders, an ECCC judge told the press Wednesday. You Bunleng, a Cambodian investigating judge of the ECCC, told Reuters that Chea "has no complaints" and will "elaborate on the regime when the trial comes." The ECCC will not try Chea and other defendants before the court, including the chief Khmer Rouge inquisitor known as Duch, until after the judges have collected and analyzed all the evidence, a process expected to take months or years.

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. He was arrested Wednesday, and subsequently charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes [JURIST report]. 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. Reuters has more.

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