Cambodia Arrests 2 Former Khmer Rouge Leaders

Foreign minister, wife, to face UN-backed genocide court
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2007 8:45 AM CST
Khmer Rouge dissident leader Ieng Sary gestures during a press conference at Division 450, Phnom Malai, northwestern Cambodia, in this Sept. 9, 1996 file photo. Police entered the home of the former foreign...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Cambodia’s UN-backed genocide court today arrested Ieng Sary, the public face of Pol Pot’s murderous Khmer Rouge, and his wife, Ieng Thirith, AFP reports. As the regime’s foreign minister, Sary allegedly persuaded intellectuals to return to Cambodia, where they were killed in re-education camps. Sary earned a genocide pardon by defecting from the party in 1996, but could face other charges.

Sary denies culpability in the genocide. “Do I have remorse? No,” Sary once said, “because this was not my responsibility.” The long-delayed genocide court has now arrested four, but some fear the elderly defendants may not live to see trial. Sary has heart problems, and Thirith, who has long defended her brother-in-law Pol Pot, may have mental health problems, the AP reports.