Is it acceptable to boycott a genocide trial?

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Defense lawyers for two former leaders of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime are boycotting their genocide trial
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 10:41

In Cambodia, the defense team of two former leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime is boycotting their genocide trial at a United Nations-backed court. They have said they will not return to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) until they filed appeals for the earlier convictions of Khieu Samphan - an 83-year-old who was the Khmer Rouge's former head of state - and 88-year-old Nuan Chea, Pol Pot's right-hand man.

In August, the two were sentenced in a separate trial to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity. They were the first top Khmer Rouge leaders to be convicted for their roles in the deaths of two million Cambodians between 1975 and 1979.

The two men are now on trial for the way the Khmer Rouge treated ethnic Cham Muslims. Up to half a million Cham were killed during the Khmer Rouge's rule. Khieu Samphan and Noun Chea also face charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

There are growing fears that the two octogenarians may die before the second trial is completed. 

 

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