Search form

Former cadre explains KR’s cash-free society

Former cadre explains KR’s cash-free society

Khmer Rouge tribunal witness Riel Son yesterday testified about trading pigs and gold with the Vietnamese for medical supplies, watches and other goods during the Democratic Kampuchea regime.

With money abolished under Pol Pot’s ultra-Maoist administration, Riel Son, the former deputy chief of Takeo province’s Tram Kak district hospital during the Khmer Rouge period, said he was instructed by superiors to barter for necessary goods with the Vietnamese.

“This happened on two occasions,… First, I bartered for medical supplies with pigs, and for the second round, I bartered with gold,” he said, adding that the gold and pigs were supplied by southwest zone leader Ta Mok.

In 1975 and 1976, Son also collected gold from cadres to buy watches, cloth and hammocks for soldiers. However, trading stopped when the relationship between the countries soured, he said.

During his third and last day of testimony, Son also recalled witnessing the stripping naked of defendant Khieu Samphan by police in Phnom Penh in 1960, which was ordered by Sihanouk-regime authorities as a reprisal for attacks on the administration by Samphan’s leftist publication L’Obsevateur.

“I saw a crowd of people, including the rickshaw drivers, and I asked the people there what happened, and they said that Khieu Samphan was being stripped naked.… There were hundreds of rickshaw drivers.… and the rickshaw drivers, some of them offered him a scarf to cover his body,” he said.

Son also expanded on the defrocking of 100 monks at Ang Roka pagoda in Tram Kak.

In earlier testimony, he recalled a car brought black clothes to replace the monks’ robes. Yesterday, he described how the head monk was attacked after beating a drum to call villagers to protest.
“There was an elderly man who beat the monk with a club. I thought he joked when he beat the monk, but the monk said it hurt,” he said.

Prior to wrapping up, the chamber ruled to adjourn hearings between April 6 and 9 to give parties more time to read 226 witness statements recently submitted to the case file from investigations into cases 003 and 004.

With the reserve witness suffering health problems, judges adjourned proceedings against former Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan until Monday.


  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all