Khmer Rouge co-founder dies

tags: AP, Cambodia, genocide, Khmer Rouge, Ieng Sary, war criminals



Ieng Sary, who co-founded Cambodia's brutal Khmer Rouge movement in 1970s, was its public face abroad and decades later became one of its few leaders to be put on trial for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million people, died Thursday morning. He was 87.

His death, however, came before any verdict was reached in his case, dashing hopes among survivors and court prosecutors that he would ever be punished for his alleged war crimes stemming from the darkest chapter in the country's history.

Ieng Sary was being tried by a joint Cambodian-international tribunal along with two other former Khmer Rouge leaders, both in their 80s, and there are fears that they, too, could also die before justice is served. Ieng Sary's wife, former Social Affairs Minister Ieng Thirith, had also been charged but was ruled unfit to stand trial last year because she suffered from a degenerative mental illness, probably Alzheimer's disease....



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