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Pinochet's Death Triggers Concerns Over Age of KR Leaders Facing Trial

Cambodian opposition and NGOs' leaders expressed concern that the aging former Khmer Rouge leaders cannot be prosecuted, like former Chile dictator Augusto Pinochet, due to old age.

General Augusto Pinochet died (December 10) at the age of 91 after suffering from an acute heart attack.

According to an official report, Pinochet was responsible for more than 3,000 deaths (of his party’s opponents) in the years following the 1973 coup.

And nearly 30,000 Chileans have also testified that they were tortured or detained by his military government

SRP party legislator Keo Remy is hastening for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s investigation in order to put the former Khmer Rouge leaders on trial, while they are still alive.

Cambodia Center for Human Rights' (CCHR) director Kem Sokha says that former KR leader’s old age is a major concern; already two former Khmer Rouge architectures have died. Pol Pot died in 1998 and top KR commander Ta Mok died in 2006.

Reach Sambath, KRT spokesman says that the tribunal proceed is based on legal procedures, and not according to a Khmer Rouge leader's life span or a former dictator's (Pinochet) death.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch charged the government on December 06 of interfering with the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

It blamed the government for meddling in negotiations between Cambodian and United Nations officials regarding the rules of the tribunal.

The Cambodian government denied these charges.