Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Aust to probe claims hostages killed for political reasons

Aust to probe claims hostages killed for political reasons

Aust to probe claims hostages killed for political reasons

AUSTRALIA'S new government has called for a "frank and fearless" enquiry

into allegations that the Cambodian government sabotaged the release of three hostages

in 1994 - later killed by the Khmer Rouge - for political reasons.

A Senate committee heard "secret evidence" from KNP leader and former Finance

Minister Sam Rainsy that written proof had been gathered by Chea Dara, a general

who had been sacked as the key negotiator for the release of the hostages in August

1994, the Melbourne Age reported.

Rainsy told the committee that military action against the KR holding the hostages

intensified at the time they were due to be released; that Dara was replaced by a

hard-line military officer; and that "an official close to Prince Norodom Ranariddh

intervened to stop the release of one hostage, Jean-Michel Braquet, on 19 August

1994," the Age said.

Ranariddh reacted angrily from Phnom Penh saying that the government had done all

it could - including having paid a $200,000 ransom - to secure the release of Australian

David Wilson, Frenchman Braquet and Brit Mark Slater.

Ranariddh said that Rainsy's allegations were absolutely wrong and were politically

motivated.

The evidence before the committee, the Age said, "contradicts some of the former

Labor Government's version of events that led to the killings, and could damage the

Howard Government's relations with Cambodia."

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub

  • Hun Sen: Don’t react to hostility

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged tolerance and thanked members of the Cambodian diaspora for not reacting to the hostility on display towards him by others while he was in the US to attend the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. In an audio