BANGKOK, Dec 9 (Reuters) โ€“ An international judge at a tribunal in Cambodia on Friday charged a former Khmer Rouge cadre with genocide and crimes against humanity, despite government resistance to investigations into the brutal, ultra-Maoist former regime.

The official, Yim Tith, also faces counts of murder and violating the Geneva Convention for his alleged role in Pol Potโ€™s government, which killed a fifth of Cambodiaโ€™s population from 1975 to 1979, according to a statement by the tribunal.

Investigating judge Michael Bohlander filed the charges, tribunal spokesman Neth Pheaktra said. But the judgeโ€™s Cambodian counterpart, You Bunleng, did not back the charges.

โ€œThey expect to finish the investigation soon, and the final case may be at the end of 2016,โ€ Neth Pheaktra told Reuters.

Yim Tith attended Wednesdayโ€™s session and left the courtroom shortly after, a tribunal official said. Reuters was not able to reach him, or his lawyers, for comment, however.

The charges come amid Cambodian government opposition to the decade-old United Nations-Cambodian court, which has so far delivered guilty verdicts in cases involving three high-profile Khmer Rouge leaders. But new cases have faced resistance.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge soldier, has warned more trials could plunge the country back into civil war and has promised to thwart new indictments.

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