Khmer Rouge tribunal suspect Im Chaem, who sold her farmland in the former communist stronghold of Anlong Veng and set off from her longtime home after being officially charged by the court earlier this month, has turned up in Takeo province.
Her niece, who would only identify herself as Chreb, said the elderly crimes-against-humanity suspect had called home from Takeo’s Tram Kak district a week after leaving home, reporting health problems.
“She called and told us not to worry. She said she doesn’t know when she will come back. She said she is having hypertension and heart [problems],” Chreb said yesterday.
She added that if her aunt’s condition did not improve, she would go to Takeo, Chaem’s birthplace, to look after her.
“In the past, she was not often ill. She has just been ill recently,” she said.
Chaem could not be reached yesterday. The 72-year-old has denied the charges against her – which include extermination, enslavement and political persecution – and has refused to surrender to the tribunal.
International co-investigating judge Mark Harmon issued the charges in absentia on March 3.