A United Nations-backed tribunal in Cambodia has just concluded its largest trial, concerning crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge regime. The tribunal’s appeal judges yesterday confirmed the conviction against 91-year-old Khieu Samphan, the former head of state, for his role in these crimes.
The 22 September decision was a turning point. After this, there will be no further trials in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. But what will the lasting impacts of these trials be?
The Khmer Rouge, otherwise known as Communist Party of Kampuchea, held power in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. Their assent to power followed a period of violent authoritarianism, conflict and the loss of half a million lives during US bombing in the Vietnam war.