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Cambodia war crimes court issues first genocide charges

[JURIST] The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website] on Wednesday issued its first genocide charges against two former Khmer Rouge [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] leaders. Former deputy leader and chief ideologist Nuon Chea and foreign minister Ieng Sary [Trial Watch profiles] were charged with genocide in connection with crimes allegedly committed against Vietnamese people and ethnic Cham Muslims. The charges, issued by co-investigating judges in Case 002 [case materials], have been brought by victims of the regime who participate as civil parties [ECCC backgrounder] in the official criminal proceedings. Both defendants have already been charged with breaches of the Geneva Convention [ICRC backgrounder] and crimes against humanity.

Earlier this month, the ECCC rejected [JURIST report] a request by Ieng Sary's lawyers to examine two international judges for bias. Last month, the court heard final arguments [JURIST report] in its first trial, that of Kaing Guek Eav [TrialWatch profile; JURIST news archive]. Kaing was the first of eight [JURIST report] ex-Khmer Rouge officials expected to be tried before the ECCC. A verdict is expected in March.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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