Cambodia's Khmer Rouge trial gets go-ahead

Cambodia's U.N.-backed genocide tribunal has refused to drop indictments against four former senior members of the Khmer Rouge, rejecting their appeals.

The tribunal says Nuon Chea, the Khmer Rouge's chief ideologist; Khieu Samphan, its head of state; Ieng Sary, its foreign minister; and his wife Ieng Thirith, who was minister for social affairs, were ordered Thursday to be sent for trial. Court officials have suggested the trial would start midyear.

Charges against the four include crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes and murder, torture and religious persecution. An estimated 1.7 million people died under the Khmer Rouge's rule in the late 1970s.

The regime's chief jailer was convicted last year of war crimes and crimes against humanity.