Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - 'Blueprint' for forced labour

'Blueprint' for forced labour

Former president of Democratic Kampuchea Khieu Samphan was obsessively determined to implement the radical economic policies of his doctoral thesis, civil party lawyers at the Khmer Rouge tribunal said yesterday.

Khieu Samphan’s 1959 thesis Cambodia’s Economy and Industrial Development provided a blueprint for the forced-labour projects of the Khmer Rouge regime that have been characterized as crimes against humanity and provided the political and economic reasoning to support enslaving the population, civil party lawyers attempted to demonstrate yesterday.

“[Khieu Samphan] was obsessively determined to put the contents of his thesis into practice,” civil party lawyer Olivier Bahougne told the court yesterday.

The prosecution and civil parties this week have been highlighting documents they view as relevant to the historical context of the Khmer Rouge prior to the April 17, 1975, takeover of Phnom Penh and subsequent evacuation of the city’s population, which is the key subject matter of the first mini-trial in Case 002 against the three surviving senior leaders of Democratic Kampuchea.

Like the other leaders, Khieu Samphan studied in Paris in the 1950s, where he is alleged to have fallen in with radical leftist student groups.

The Khmer Rouge’s own economic principles greatly reflect the former nominal head of state’s thesis, civil party lawyers said yesterday, adding that this demonstrated the “high degree of political implication of Khieu Samphan” in the policies of the Khmer Rouge.

In audio-visual footage presented by civil party lawyers yesterday, Khieu Samphan also claimed it was he who was instrumental in bringing then-Prince Norodom Sihanouk in­to an alliance with the Khmer Rouge.

An intellectual, Khieu Samphan also served in the government under Sihanouk for a brief period before being ejected for his leftist ideals.

Khieu Samphan’s legal counsel raised a “grave” translation issue concerning a document raised by the co-prosecutors.

“The translation of this document has grave issues as to the reputation of the former king,” counsel Kong Sam Onn said, adding that a translated version of the document appeared to implicate now-King Father Norodom Sihanouk in ordering the executions of two prominent Khmer Rouge leaders, Hu Nim and Hou Yuon in 1977.

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Setting up a drone for flight. Photo supplied

How Cambodia's first drone company is helping farmers

SM Waypoint claims its unmanned aerial vehicles can help local farm and plantation owners increase their yields. Established in September 2015, SM Waypoint now has seven drone pilots, two sales staff and two accountants. Though the company focuses mainly on agricultural projects, the potential uses of the drones are extremely varied, going from measuring exact land height for building drainage systems to finding the most suitable location for special economic zones (SEZs) or factories.

New street food dish shakes things up at Russian Market

Though the bustling food stalls that emerge after dark next to Phnom Penh's Russian Market can seem intimidating to tourists at first glance, there are street food treats to be enjoyed by all, from Kep crab to a new shrimp dish created by the market's owners.

Turkish Embassy calls for closure of Zaman schools

With an attempted coup against the government of President Recep Erdogan quashed only days ago and more than 7,000 alleged conspirators now under arrest, the Turkish ambassador to Cambodia yesterday pressed the govern