Nuon Chea denies responsibility for deaths of 1.7 million people in Cambodia during the 1970s at UN-backed tribunal
A former leader of Cambodia’s brutal Khmer Rouge regime has told a court he and his comrades were not “bad people”, denying responsibility for the deaths of 1.7 million people during their 1970s rule and blaming Vietnam for any atrocities.
Nuon Chea’s defiant statements came as a UN-backed tribunal began questioning him and two other Khmer Rouge leaders in court for the first time.
The long-awaited trial began late last month with opening statements, and this week the court is expected to focus on charges involving the forced movement of people and crimes against humanity. After the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh on 17 April 1975, they began moving an estimated 1 million people, including hospital patients, from the capital into the countryside in an effort to create a communist agrarian utopia.