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Khmer Rouge trial captivates Cambodians

Sunday, Nov 20, 2011 - 01:47

Nov. 21 - U.N. backed tribunal for three former Khmer Rouge leaders makes headlines in Cambodia. Jessica Gray reports.

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Cambodians remain riveted to the trial of three of the most infamous leaders of the Khmer Rouge. Many here hope there'll be justice more than three decades after millions were killed, tortured or starved to death under Pol Pot's rule. (SOUNDBITE) (Khmer) SURVIVOR FROM TUOL SLENG PRISON, CHUM MEY, SAYING: "I want the court to find justice for everyone who was killed. So that they can live in peace, in the next life." (SOUNDBITE) (English) FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER AL ROCKOFF, WHO DOCUMENTED FALL OF PHNOM PENH TO KHMER ROUGE SAYING: "I think the biggest question Khmer people have, myself included, is - the A-list of Khmer Rouge leaders - why did you have to kill so many people? Why? For what reason? We know what happened. Now we'd like to know why." At the U.N. backed court, lawyers are trying to prove the motive of Pol Pot's senior commanders, including former president Khieu Samphan, ex-Foreign Minister Leng Sary and Communist Party second-in-command Nuon Chea. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LEGAL COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER FOR THE EXTRAORDINARY CHAMBERS IN THE COURTS OF CAMBODIA (ECCC), LARS OLSEN, SAYING: "I think it is important that the court must be allowed to work independently. This is what the court has stressed before, that we don't take instructions from anyone, be it the government, the U.N., or civil society." The defendants are accused of orchestrating crimes ranging from enslavement, torture, religious and political persecution to inhumane treatment and unlawful imprisonment. Almost every Cambodian has a family member who died during the Khmer Rouge's brutal five-years in power. Jessica Gray, Reuters

Khmer Rouge trial captivates Cambodians

Sunday, Nov 20, 2011 - 01:47

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