Life imprisonment for Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge leaders Sentenced the "Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea, 90, and former President Khieu Samphan, 85 years old.

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The High Court of Cambodia Justice has confirmed a life sentence for the second most senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime rejecting the appeal against the judgment of 2014. The Court found that the sentence of two years ago, inflicted by a court of ‘United Nations, had been “appropriate”, due to the seriousness crimes and the role played by the two accused, Khieu Samphan, the former head of state, and Nuon Chea, 90 years old, the right arm of the last communist leader of Pol Pot country.

Who are they

The “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, 90, and former president of Democratic Kampuchea (Khmer state entity name) Khieu Samphan, 85, they are the most important leader of the movement, and they were arrested in 2014 for killing about 2 million Cambodians in the 1975-79. The number one of the Pol Pot regime (“Brother Number One”), is dead in 1998.

The appeal

The two senior regime officials had appealed against the first judgment, accusing the court of a series of errors and bias. After months of court hearings, in a long ruling, the court upheld the conviction today, while admitting that some mistakes were made at the beginning.

The sentence

Kong Srim, the judge of the Supreme Chamber of the court, said the two “did not care about the fate of the Cambodian population,” and he spoke of crimes “massifs.” Life imprisonment, the magistrate added, is “an appropriate penalty.” Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan have listened impassively to the judgment.


The Khmer Rouge were formed in 1968 as part of the Vietnamese People’s Army in North Vietnam. The party was a rural party active in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979 and led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan. Was allied with North Vietnam, the Viet Cong, the Pathet Lao during the Vietnam War against anti-communist forces.

The regime in power in the second half of the 70s in Cambodia, pursued a Marxist agrarian utopia through a massive elimination of the elements it considered dysfunctional to this project. “I’m pleased with this sentence,” said Chhun Leap, 74, who lost 50 family members during the regime. “They are monsters, and this is their destiny.”

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