ECCC’s first real act?

After years of foot dragging and legal bickering, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) announced that they have filed a petition to bring five defendants before the tribunal. After the judges review the evidence, a final determination will be made before filing a formal indictment.

The radical communist Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, when 1.7 million people were killed by torture, disease, overwork and starvation.

No Khmer Rouge leader has ever been brought into court to face charges for crimes that resulted in the deaths of as many as one-fourth of the population and left the country in ruin and trauma.

The announcement Wednesday said the prosecutors had submitted for investigation 25 “distinct factual situations of murder, torture, forcible transfer, unlawful detention, forced labor and religious, political and ethnic persecution.”

It listed allegations that it said constitute crimes against humanity, genocide, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, homicide, torture and religious persecution.

While the five names have not been made public, it’s likely the list includes Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary, and Kaing Khek Iev. The prosecutors announced that they had submitted 14,000 pages of evidence against the five individuals, including the testimony of 350 witnesses and thousands of pages of Khmer Rouge government documents.

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