Khmer Rouge Pair Found Guilty Of Genocide

Two of the highest ranking officials of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime have been brought to justice.

Nuon Chea, the number two to infamous Cambodian despot, Saloth Sar, better known as Pol Pot and Khieu Samphan, his former head of state were found guilty of genocide by the Khmer Rouge tribunal earlier today.

This ruling against the 92 and 87-year-old, represents the first ever concrete acknowledgement-- under its current definition -- that the Khmer Rouge regime was in fact genocidal.

Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan (Image AAP)

This period of terror in the South East Asian country lasted from 1975 to 1979 and claimed the lives of an estimated two million people.

The findings are the result of four years of trial at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, with opening statements being given in October 2014.

Chea and Samphan were already serving life sentences for crimes against humanity.

Pol Pot at a news conference in December 1979 (Image AAP)

They are only the second and third people to be convicted for the atrocities.

The man in charge of the infamous Tuol Sleng interrogation centre, Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch was convicted in 2010.

Of the estimated 12,000 people who entered the prison, only 15 survived.

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The government's aim was to create a self sufficient agrarian society with people forced into brutal agricultural work with many dying of starvation or exhaustion.

The infamous 'killing fields' of the Khmer Rouge regime (Image AAP)

Among those targeted were the local Khmer people along with anyone declared enemies of the state.

Pol Pot was overthrown in 1979 and remained on the run for over 20 years before he was caught in 1997 and died under house arrest a year later.

Featured Image: AAP

Contact the author mgray@networkten.com.au