US: Expedite trials of Khmer Rouge leaders

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. says the death of Khmer Rouge co-founder and foreign minister Ieng Sary highlights the need to expedite the trials of leaders of the communist regime whose late 1970s rule killed an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says the U.S. continues to support Cambodia's U.N.-backed tribunal to bring to justice those responsible for atrocities.

She called for an "expeditious" and "comprehensive" process.

The 87-year-old Ieng Sary, who died Thursday, was one of the three Khmer Rouge leaders on trial in the Cambodia-based court, which opened in 2006. Despite $150 million in funding, there's been only one conviction.

Remaining on trial are ex-head of state Khieu Samphan, who is 81, and former chief ideologist, Nuon Chea, who is 86. Both are frail and have suffered strokes.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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