Former senior Khmer Rouge leader, Ieng Sary has died, Cambodia’s UN-backed court has announced.
Ieng Sary ,the 87-year-old was on trial for genocide committed under the 1975-79 Maoist regime at the time of his death.
The tribunal says the man known as Khmer Rouge “brother number three” died Thursday morning. He had been hospitalized since March 4. Court spokesperson Lars Orson announced his death “with regret.”
“We understand that many will be disappointed by the fact that we cannot conclude the proceedings against Ieng Sary and thereby we cannot make any determination on the guilt or innocence of the charges that have been brought against him,” he said.
At 87, he was the oldest of three senior Khmer Rouge leaders standing trial at the tribunal. His death increases the possibility the troubled tribunal may not be able to deliver verdicts against the aging leaders of the movement that oversaw the deaths of a quarter of Cambodia’s population.
Khieu Samphan, the 81-year-old ex-president of the Khmer Rouge, and Nuon Chea, its 86-year-old former chief ideologue, all deny committing atrocities. Prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch, is the only person to be found guilty and jailed by the tribunal.