PHNOM PENH —
Prosecutors at the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal have asked for life sentences for two aging leaders of the regime, as they continued with closing statements in a portion of the case against them.
Nuon Chea, the Khmer Rouge’s main ideologue, and Khieu Samphan, its nominal head of state, are facing charges of atrocity crimes, including genocide.
Their case, No. 002, has been split into smaller parts to expedite the trial process.
The court is wrapping up the first part of the case, which dealt with the April 1975 evacuation of Phnom Penh following the Khmer Rouge takeover of Cambodia.
Following that mass exodus, the Cambodian people were put to work in agrarian collectives in the countryside, where many perished from overwork, starvation or execution.
Cambodian prosecutor Chea Leang told the court Monday that life imprisonment for both men was necessary to bring justice to the dead and to survivors, “who experienced the regime’s atrocities under the governance of the two accused.”