PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – Cambodia's U.N.-backed genocide tribunal has moved its five Khmer Rouge prisoners out of the custom-built jail in Phnom Penh where they have been held because it is at risk of flooding after heavy rains this week, a spokesman said Wednesday.
Tribunal spokesman Lars Olsen did not disclose where they were moved to Tuesday. The five are among the former leaders of ultra-communist regime during whose 1975-79 rule an estimated 1.7 million people were executed or died from overwork, disease and malnutrition.
In July, the regime's chief jailer, Kaing Guek Eav — also known as Duch — was sentenced to 19 years in prison for war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and murder. Duch, 67, was the first defendant to be tried. He supervised the notorious S-21 prison where as many as 16,000 people were tortured before being executed.
The other four are expected to be tried starting in the middle of next year. They are Nuon Chea, 84, the group's ideologist; former head of state Khieu Samphan, 79; former Foreign Minister Ieng Sary, and his wife Ieng Thirith, ex-minister for social affairs, both in their 80s.
The five have been detained since 2007 and aside from trips to the nearby court, have gone virtually nowhere else except for occasional hospital visits.