Cambodia's UN-backed war crimes tribunal on June 27 opened a trial for four top former Khmer Rouge leaders on charges of genocide and atrocities in Cambodia in the 1970s.

The elderly defendants are "Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith.

They face charges of genocide and war crimes, crimes against humanity and related crimes over the deaths of around 1.7 million people during 1975-79 period. However, all four defendants deny the accusations.
The trial is scheduled to last four days and will focus on hearing accusations of experts, witnesses, civil organisations and representatives of the victims.

This is the second trial of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) following the landmark conviction of Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch, former chief of the Toul Sleng prison (S-21), who was sentenced to 35 years in jail in July 2010.

The ECCC was established in 2006 after nearly a decade of negotiations between Cambodia and the United Nations./.