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Cambodian tribunal accuses ex-leader of Khmer Rouge for murder and torture of civilians

Former Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea ordered the murder and torture of civilians when the communist group held power in the 1970s, an indictment issued Friday by Cambodia's U.N.-supported genocide tribunal said.

The 81-year-old former Khmer Rouge ideologist was arrested and charged Wednesday with crimes against humanity and war crimes in connection with atrocities that caused the deaths of some 1.7 million people during the Khmer Rouge's 1975-79 rule.

The detailed indictment issued Friday by the tribunals co-investigating judges said Nuon Chea "planned, instigated, ordered, directed or otherwise aided and abetted in the commission" of crimes that include "murder, torture, imprisonment, persecution, extermination, deportation, forcible transfer, enslavement and other inhumane acts."