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Further pressure for Samphan’s wife

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The prosecution and civil parties continued to probe the testimony of So Socheat – wife of co-accused Khieu Samphan – at the Khmer Rouge tribunal yesterday, seemingly dissatisfied with her insistence that she had no knowledge of the workings of Democratic Kampuchea.

Civil party lead co-lawyer Elisabeth Simonneau Fort pressed Socheat on whether she was familiar with the living conditions of the “new people” evacuated out of Phnom Penh, ultimately asking whether it was “of no interest” to her, when Socheat responded that, even after nearly 40 years,

she knew nothing of the conditions among the evacuees.

Simonneau Fort also responded with seeming incredulity to Socheat’s assertion that even after the fall of Phnom Penh, her husband was not a senior leader of the Khmer Rouge.

“I did not know for sure what he did,” Socheat maintained. “He worked at his place and occasionally he would go to K-1 and occasionally he would go meet with Samdech [Norodom Sihanouk]. That is what I saw.”

Prosecutor Keith Raynor, who himself had grown exasperated on Tuesday with the inconsistencies in Socheat’s responses, continued to press her on seemingly conflicting accounts, ultimately concluding the morning session by asking the court to officially sanction Samphan national defence lawyer Kong Sam Onn.

“It is my respectful submission that he has knowingly and wilfully interfered with the administration of justice, and he has interfered with the evidence of Madame So Socheat,” Raynor said, accusing Sam Onn of telegraphing answers to Socheat by way of his objections.

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