Cambodia tribunal charges ex-navy commander with genocide News
Cambodia tribunal charges ex-navy commander with genocide

[JURIST] Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge tribunal, on Monday, charged Meas Muth [press release], the Khmer Rouge’s ex-navy commander, with genocide, crimes against humanity and other crimes. According to authorities, Muth appeared voluntarily to hear the charges against him, which were brought despite opposition by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge supporter himself. Muth has previously been charged in absentia, and arrest warrants have been issued against him in the past, but Cambodian policehad refused to arrest him. The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website] continues to try to prosecute those responsible for atrocities under the Khmer Rogue regime, but Cambodian authorities have often refused to cooperate.

Cambodia continues to struggle with the legacy of the Khmer Rouge, an extremist group that attempted to set up an agrarian socialist society in the nation in the mid- to late-1970s. In March the ECCC charged [JURIST report] former Khmer Rouge member Cadre Ao An with crimes against humanity for his role in the maintenance of an execution site and two security centers during the Democratic Kampuchea. Earlier in March Human Rights Watch called on [JURIST report] the Cambodian government to act on criminal charges brought against former Khmer Rouge leaders. Also in March the ECCC charged [JURIST report] district commander Im Chaem, along with Muth, with homicide and crimes against humanity, despite a warning by the country’s prime minister not to add the defendants. Cambodia’s UN-backed tribunal restarted genocide hearings in a separate case in January after a delay in which defense lawyers refused [JURIST reports] to participate. The Khmer Rouge have been blamed for roughly 1.7 million deaths between 1975 and 1979 while leader Pol Pot was in power.