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Cambodia

No third Khmer Rouge trial, says Hun Sen

Reuters/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen told UN secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday that a third Khmer Rouge trial would not be held, according to a Cambodian official. Hun Sen "clealy affirmed that case three is not allowed", said Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong after the meeting.

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"We have to think about peace in Cambodia," said Namhong.

Hun Sen was a former mid-level Khmer Rouge member himself before leaving the movement.

A second trial is scheduled to start next year, with "Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea, former foreign minister Ieng Sary, his wife and former social affairs minister Ieng Thirith, and former head of state Khieu Samphan in the dock.

The UN-backed court is debating whether to open a third case against other high-ranking Khmer Rouge members, but have encountered resistance from the Cambodian government.

Hun Sen believes that a third trial could destabilise Cambodia, saying he would prefer to see the court fail rather than indict more suspects.

Hor Namhong said Hun Sen told Ban that the second trial would be a "successful prosecution", while a third trial would be a "failure" if more Khmer Rouge members were prosecuted.

The Khmer Rouge regime reigned between 1975 and 1979. During this period up to 2.2 million people died from starvation, overwork or execution.

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