Former Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea has denied all charges against him on the last day of a trial for leaders of the Cambodian regime widely blamed for the deaths of some 1.7 million people.

The 87-year-old Nuon Chea, the Khmer Rouge's chief ideologist, and 82-year-old Khieu Samphan, its head of state, are charged by the Khmer Rouge tribunal with genocide and crimes against humanity.

Nuon Chea on Thursday denied charges including torture, enslavement and murder for their roles in the radical communist regime nearly 40 years ago. Khieu Samphan is expected to deny charges later on Thursday.

A verdict is expected in the first half of 2014, more than two years after the trial began.

Deaths due to execution, disease, torture and starvation were widespread during the Khmer Rouge's rule in the 1970s.

Source: Agencies