La policía camboyana ha arrestado a dos importantes figuras de los Jémeres Rojos
Police in Cambodia have arrested two leading figures from the 1970s Khmer Rouge regime to face charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Former Foreign Minister Ieng Sary and his wife, Ieng Thirith, were taken into custody in the capital, Phnom Penh.
The pair, who deny any wrongdoing, are due to appear before judges at a UN-backed genocide tribunal.
The brutal Maoist regime, which ruled between 1975 and 1979, is blamed for more than one million deaths.
A tribunal was established last year to bring surviving leaders to the dock.
"Today Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith have been arrested in execution of an arrest warrant... for crimes against humanity and war crimes as regards Ieng Sary and for crimes against humanity concerning Ieng Thirith," a statement from the tribunal said.
Purge of intellectuals
Police surrounded the couple's Phnom Penh house early in the morning.
They searched the house for three hours and then drove Ieng Sary and his wife to the tribunal in a convoy of vehicles.
The couple, who have been living freely in the Cambodian capital for more than 10 years, were key members of the Khmer Rouge leadership.
Ieng Sary was Pol Pot's brother-in-law - his wife's sister was married to the Khmer Rouge founder. His wife, Ieng Thirith, was the Khmer Rouge's social affairs minister.
As foreign minister, he was often the only point of contact between Cambodia's rulers and the outside world.
He was responsible for convincing many educated Cambodians who had fled the Khmer Rouge to return to help rebuild the country.
Many were then tortured and executed as part of the purge of intellectuals, some of them diplomats from his own office.
Prosecutors for the tribunal have said there is evidence of Ieng Sary's participation in crimes, including planning, directing and co-ordinating forced labour and unlawful killings.
Ieng Sary has repeatedly denied any crime. In 1996 he became the first senior leader from the Maoist regime to defect and as a result was granted a royal pardon.
But analysts say the validity of that agreement looks set to be tested with his arrest by the court.
Más sobre los Jémeres Rojos:
WHO WERE THE KHMER ROUGE?
Maoist regime that ruled Cambodia from 1975-1979
Founded and led by Pol Pot, who died in 1998
Abolished religion, schools and currency in a bid to create agrarian utopia
Brutal regime that did not tolerate dissent
More than a million people thought to have died from starvation, overwork or execution.
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Han detenido a otros dos jefes de los Jémeres Rojos. Se trata de el antiguo Ministro de Exteriores Ieng Sary y su mujer Ieng Tirinth, acusados de crímenes contra la Humanidad y crímenes de guerra (en el caso de él), por supuesto ellos lo niegan.
Está acusado de convencer a ciudadanos camboyanos en el exilio para que volvieran, a los que luego se asesinó. Su mujer contribuyó a la planificación.
La policía camboyana detuvo este lunes a Ieng Sary, ex ministro de Exteriores de los Jemeres Rojos, y a su esposa, Ieng Thirith, ex ministra de Asuntos Sociales durante el régimen, responsable de la muerte de 1,7 millones de personas tras el golpe de Estado de 1975.
Ambos fueron arrestados en su casa de Phnom Penh, la capital, en una operación en la que también participaron representantes de la ONU en el tribunal que tiene previsto juzgar el próximo año a los líderes vivos del grupo maoísta. Según indicó la policía, la pareja fue conducida a las oficinas del tribunal patrocinado por la ONU, aunque de momento no se han emitido cargos contra ellos.
Ieng Thirith es hermana de Khieu Ponnary, la mujer de Pol Pot, el máximo líder de los Jemeres Rojos, o hermano número uno, fallecido en 1998.