Last Updated: Monday, 18 December 2017, 09:48 GMT

Cambodia: UN-backed genocide court rules Nuon Chea fit for trial

Publisher UN News Service
Publication Date 29 March 2013
Cite as UN News Service, Cambodia: UN-backed genocide court rules Nuon Chea fit for trial, 29 March 2013, available at: [accessed 18 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The trial chamber of the United Nations-backed court in Cambodia that is trying those accused of genocide and crimes against humanity today ruled that Nuon Chea, also knows as "Brother Number Two" to Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, is fit for trial.

Mr. Noun is before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), a mixed court set up under a 2003 agreement signed by the UN and the Government, on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity committed during the Khmer Rouge regime in the late 1970s.

"Notwithstanding the advanced age and frailty of the accused, Nuon Chea, and the accused's precarious physical health, the recent report and testimony of the court-appointed medical experts clearly indicate that the accused remains capable of meaningful participation in his own defence," the president of the court, Nil Nonn, said through an English translator.

Mr. Noun waived his right to be present in court on grounds of health reasons. He is reportedly 86-years-old and suffers from heart disease, among other ailments.

Earlier this month, former foreign minister Ieng Sary, died of heart failure. His widow and former social minister, Ieng Thirith, was found unfit to stand trial last September owing to medical reasons and the Court granted her a provisional release

Nearly two million people are thought to have died during the Khmer Rouge regime between 1975 and 1979.

Out of five Khmer Rouge leaders indicted by the ECCC in 2007, the court has so far completed just one case, sentencing former prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, whose alias is 'Duch', to life in jail.

In addition, witness hearings in Case 002/01 against Mr. Nuon and Khieu Samphan will resume on 8 April, the Court announced.

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