The most senior surviving member of the Khmer Rouge has been taken to Cambodia’s capital for questioning. Nuon Chea – so-called “Brother Number Two” – was detained on the orders of the country’s genocide tribunal. After descending on his home near the Thai border, Cambodian soldiers, police and Western security guards put him on a helicopter bound for Phnom Penh and the UN-backed court.
The 82-year-old is accused of being the surviving Khmer Rouge commander most responsible for the atrocities of the “Killing Fields” in the 1970s. An estimated 1.7 million people lost their lives. Most were executed or died of starvation, torture or disease under Pol Pot’s rule. The Khmer Rouge leader himself will never be brought to justice. He died in 1998.
The tribunal has already charged the regime’s chief inquisitor, Duch, with crimes against humanity. The Khmer Rouge was responsible for one of the darkest chapters of the 20th century.