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Cambodia genocide court to hold Khmer Rouge leader for additional year

[JURIST] The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive] on Friday announced that former Khmer Rouge official Nuon Chea [PBS backgrounder] will be held for another year as prosecutors continue to build a war crimes case against him. Nuon Chea, known as Brother Number Two in the Khmer Rouge [BBC backgrounder], was arrested and charged [JURIST report] in September 2007. He has been in court custody since his arrest, and the court has rejected his lawyers' attempts to have him released [JURIST reports] until trial. AFP has more.

In February, a Cambodian genocide survivor testified against Nuon Chea [JURIST report] at a pre-trial hearing, marking the first time that a victim has ever taken the stand against a former Khmer Rouge official. The ECCC has said it plans to try as many as eight suspects [JURIST report] on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for their roles in the Khmer Rouge regime, which is generally held responsible for the genocide of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians [PPU backgrounder] who died between 1975 and 1979. In June, the court announced plans [JURIST report] to complete operations a year early and to significantly reduce its budget, but said that it would still be able to prosecute all of its suspects despite the cutbacks.

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