Khieu Samphan, former Khmer Rouge head of state, is seen on screen at the court's press center at the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018. The U.N.-backed tribunal judging the criminal responsibility of former Khmer Rouge leaders for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians will issue verdicts Friday in the latest — and perhaps last — of such trials. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

The Latest: Last Khmer Rouge leaders get life sentences

November 16, 2018 - 5:09 am

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — The Latest on the tribunal judging Khmer Rouge responsibility (all times local):

11:40 a.m.

An international tribunal that found two former Khmer Rouge leaders guilty of genocide has sentenced them to life in prison.

The elderly Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan are the last surviving senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge and are already serving life sentences for the regime's forced transfers and disappearances of masses of people during group's brutal rule of Cambodia in the late 1970s.

The tribunal convicted Khieu Samphan under the joint criminal enterprise rule of the genocide law. It found Nuon Chea guilty of genocide based on the principle of command responsibility.

The separate verdicts involve killings of the Cham and Vietnamese ethnic groups committed as the radical group brutally ruled Cambodia and starved, overworked and executed its own perceived enemies.

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11:15 a.m.

Two former Khmer Rouge leaders have been found guilty of genocide for killings during group's brutal rule of Cambodia in the late 1970s.

The tribunal judging their criminal responsibility for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians also found them guilty Friday of committing crimes against humanity and other breaches of the Geneva Conventions.

Nuon Chea, 92, and Khieu Samphan, 87, are the last surviving senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge and are already serving life sentences for the regime's forced transfers and disappearances of masses of people.

The court convicted Khieu Samphan under the joint criminal enterprise rules of the genocide law. It found Nuon Chea guilty of genocide based on the principle of command responsibility.

The killings cited under the law involve the Cham and Vietnamese ethnic groups.

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9:30 a.m.

The international tribunal to judge the criminal responsibility of former Khmer Rouge leaders for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians has opened its session to deliver its verdicts on charges of genocide and other crimes.

Facing judgment on Friday are Nuon Chea, 92, and Khieu Samphan, 87, the last surviving senior leaders of the radical communist group that brutally ruled Cambodia in the late 1970s. They are already serving life sentences after being convicted in a previous 2011-2014 trial of crimes against humanity connected with forced transfers and disappearances of masses of people.

The Khmer Rouge sought to achieve an agrarian utopia by emptying the cities to establish vast rural communes. Instead their radical policies led to what has been termed 'auto-genocide' through starvation, overwork and execution.

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