Speaking from the US to hundreds at Choeung Ek Genocide Centre yesterday, self-exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy vowed to convict members of the current government accused of Khmer Rouge-era killings if his party wins power this July.
Speaking via video link at a memorial service on the anniversary of the 1975 evacuation of Phnom Penh, Rainsy said a Cambodian National Rescue Party win at the National Election in July would put an end to the government protecting criminals and interfering in Khmer Rouge tribunal proceedings.
“Now they have high titles in the current government because this government defends them,” the CNRP president said to about 200 people. “It does not allow the international court to summons them – because when the court finds them guilty, it will convict them.”
Rainsy did not name names, but references to “ministers and deputy prime ministers” were consistent with his statement last April 17, when he called for legal action against Prime Minister Hun Sen, Senate President Chea Sim and National Assembly President Heng Samrin.
“[Those] individuals . . . will not escape conviction in a proper court from next year. There will be a new government led by the CNRP,” Rainsy said.
A CNRP government would also focus on convicting “criminals” over the K5 plan of the 1980s and the grenade attack and coup of 1997, Rainsy said.
Tith Sothea, Council of Ministers spokesman, said he was not concerned by Rainsy’s words.
“Sam Rainsy is living deep inside his imagination – the opposition party does not have enough credentials to win the upcoming election,” he said.
Sothea said it was up to the court to determine who was involved in atrocities during the Democratic Kampuchea era and the government did not interfere in such proceedings.