PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Ieng Thirith, the sister-in-law of Cambodian dictator Pol Pot, died on Saturday, nearly five years after she was indicted on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, Cambodia’s U.N.-backed war crimes court said.
The 83-year-old former minister of social action during Pol Pot’s 1975-‘79 “killing fields” regime, died in the old Khmer Rouge stronghold of Pailin in western Cambodia, the court said in a statement.
Ieng Thirith was married to former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary, who died in 2013. Her sister, Khieu Ponnary, was married to Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, who died in 1998.
The four were French-educated revolutionaries whose bid to turn Cambodia into an agrarian communist state led to the deaths of about 2 million people through execution and starvation.
The legal case against Ieng Thirith was stayed in 2012 after she had been found unfit to stand trial because of dementia, and she was released under judicial supervision, the court said.
Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Writing by Robert Birsel; Editing by Clarence Fernandez