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Khmer Rouge tribunal Death stops defendant’s appeal

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — The U.N.-assisted tribunal trying leaders of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge on charges of genocide and other crimes has affirmed it will cease legal proceedings against Nuon Chea, the communist group’s No. 2 leader who died on Aug. 4 while his conviction was under appeal.

A statement Tuesday by the tribunal’s Supreme Court Chamber cited Cambodian law and international criminal tribunal precedent as the basis for its ruling. It also acknowledged a request by Nuon Chea’s defense team to clarify whether ending the appeal would keep his conviction standing, or nullify it.

Nuon Chea was convicted in two separate trials of crimes against humanity, genocide and other offenses when the Khmer Rouge held power in the late 1970s. About 1.7 million people died from starvation, disease, overwork and executions under its rule.

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