Ieng Sary, who co-founded Cambodia’s brutal Khmer Rouge movement in the 1970s, served as its public face abroad, and decades later became one of its few leaders to face justice for the deaths of well over a million people, died Thursday. He was 87.
His death, however, came before any verdict was reached in his case, dashing hopes among survivors and court prosecutors that he would ever be punished for his alleged war crimes stemming from the darkest chapter in the country’s history.
Ieng Sary was being tried by a joint Cambodian-international tribunal along with two other former Khmer Rouge leaders, both in their 80s, and there are fears that they, too, could die before justice is served. Ieng Sary’s wife, former Social Affairs Minister Ieng Thirith, had also been charged but was ruled unfit to stand trial last year because she suffered from a degenerative mental illness, probably Alzheimer’s disease.
For more on this story, visit: Khmer Rouge Co-Founder Ieng Sary Dies At 87 : NPR.