Prosecutors of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) demanded the maximum possible sentence of life imprisonment for two former top Khmer Rouge leaders at a trial on crimes against humanity on October 21.

"Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea, 87, and Khieu Samphan, 82, were accused of playing a leading role in the "Killing Fields" atrocities in the late 1970s that left up to two million people dead.

Prosecutor Chea Leang said life in prison was "the only punishment that they deserve".

Closing statements are scheduled to be completed by the end of the month, with a verdict expected in the first half of next year. However, observers and survivors have long raised fears about the speed of proceedings and the advanced age of the accused.

In its historic first trial, the court in 2010 sentenced former prison chief Kaing Guek Eav to 30 years in prison - later increased to life in jail - for overseeing the deaths of 15,000 people.

Reliant on funding from donor nations, the court was established in 2006 after nearly a decade of negotiations between Cambodia and the UN, which provides technical assistance.-VNA