Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chea wants company on the witness stand

National Assembly President Heng Samrin speaks during a ceremony in Phnom Penh earlier this year.
National Assembly President Heng Samrin speaks during a ceremony in Phnom Penh earlier this year. Hong Menea

Chea wants company on the witness stand

Khmer Rouge “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea said he would break his silence on the horrors committed during the regime, but only if an unnamed witness – believed to be National Assembly President Heng Samrin – is called to testify.

Chea, on trial for crimes against humanity, has refused to answer questions throughout the trial, despite scores of civil party witnesses tearfully pleading with him for answers.

A document from Chea’s defence, dated August 1 but made public last week, reiterated Chea would not speak unless his “only character witness”, whose name is redacted, was summonsed.

In previous court documents, Chea’s “only character witness” is listed as TCW-223; cross-referencing with other court documents identifies that code name as Samrin.

Chea’s lawyer, Victor Koppe, did not identify the witness in an email yesterday but said he was “by far the most important witness” to his case and “absolutely crucial” to a fair trial.

“He knew Nuon Chea really well. They were fellow revolutionaries for 30 years,” Koppe said, adding that the witness had previously ignored a 2009 summons and if he did not appear, “Nuon Chea will remain silent forever”.

“Now that would be tragic. For the Cambodian people and indeed also for the civil parties who ask him questions every day in court,” he said.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan declined to answer whether Samrin would appear in the event of a summons.

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Bodies of Cambodian peacekeepers returned to Kingdom

The bodies of four Cambodian peacekeepers killed by a Christian militia in Central African Republic were repatriated to the Kingdom and honoured in an airport ceremony on May 21.

Phnom Penh eats: Ptas Nak Battambang

As the name suggests, Ptsa Nak Battambang – which in English means Battambang's house – is the right place for those who want to try some of the province's typical dishes in Phnom Penh.

Military police stand guard outside a polling station that was allegedly prematurely closed to eligible voters during the 2013 general election in Kandal province. Photo supplied

The Ministry of Defence on Friday lashed out at civil society and election monitoring groups, claiming a

Opposition leader Kem Sokha uses his hat to gesture to supporters during a campaign rally yesterday in Siem Reap province. Facebook

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday threatened to unleash war on the opposition party if he loses patience with their campaign for the June 4 commune