Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Khmer Rouge’s Brother No 2 dies

Khmer Rouge’s Brother No 2 dies

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Former Khmer Rouge deputy leader Nuon Chea sits in court in November last year. Chea died aged 93 on Sunday at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital. MARK PETERS/EXTRAORDINARY CHAMBERS IN THE COURTS OF CAMBODIA/AFP

Khmer Rouge’s Brother No 2 dies

Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) spokesman Neth Pheaktra announced on Sunday that former Khmer Rouge Brother Number Two Nuon Chea has passed away.

“We can confirm that Nuon Chea, 93, passed away on Sunday evening at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital. He had been treated at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia’s detention centre before being transferred to the hospital for medical treatment on July 2,” Pheaktra said.Chea’s family has been informed.

The ECCC, commonly known as the Khmer Rouge tribunal, found Chea guilty in November of genocide against the ethnic Vietnamese, the Cham Muslim minority group and former officials in the previous Khmer Republic government.

Pheaktra said he could not reveal what Chea, who was second-in-command only to Pol Pot, had died of as information on his health was confidential.

Chea was the president of the Khmer Rouge’s state legislature.

He was sentenced to life in prison by the Khmer Rouge tribunal in Case 002/02, along with Khieu Samphan, the ultra-Maoist regime’s head of state.

“On Sunday afternoon, Nuon Chea passed away due to his illness,” Fresh News quoted a doctor who asked not to be named as saying.

Dr Ngy Meng, the director of the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, declined to comment, referring questions to Pheaktra.

Doreen Chen, a lawyer representing Chea, also declined to comment on the cause of death, saying it was confidential. “Nuon Chea’s health was considered by the ECCC to be confidential,” Chen said.

Chhang Youk, the director of the Documentation Centre of Cambodia, said a lot of people who had suffered under the Khmer Rouge had wanted justice for the crimes Chea had committed and the many who were killed.

He said he considered Chea’s illness to represent all he had done to victims during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror.

“We have not yet received closure for what he did because millions died. Many who suffered did not get closure when he received life imprisonment for his crimes. But he could not avoid the consequences of his actions and all he did to the victims. His illness signified his sin,” Youk said.

Media early last month quoted a doctor who asked not to be named as saying Chea had been taken to hospital with an ulcer on his toe that had turned black.

Due to his advancing years, blood did not circulate to his extremities, which had caused the ulcer. He also had a painful trapped nerve, the doctor said.

“Nuon Chea’s ailment shows no signs of threatening his life. Doctors are ready to treat the ulcer,” he said after Chea was admitted to hospital.

The Khmer Rouge tribunal ruled on Case 002/02 at a public hearing on November 16 last year, sentencing Chea and Samphan to life imprisonment.

Samphan was also found guilty of genocide against the ethnic Vietnamese. Both were charged with offences carried out between 1977 and 1979.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted