Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chhouk Rin's supporters to submit appeals

Chhouk Rin's supporters to submit appeals

Chhouk Rin's supporters to submit appeals


Darren Whiteside

FORMER GLORY: Chhouk Rin has a lieutenant-colonel's epaulets bestowed on him in 1994 when he defected from the Khmer Rouge to the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.

Supporters of former Khmer Rouge commander Chhouk Rin will thumbprint an appeal to

the Supreme Council of Magistracy (SMC) to overturn the Supreme Court's life sentence

conviction, and send a request to King Norodom Sihamoni to grant a royal amnesty,

the ex-rebel leader's wife said.

Yem Sav said she will travel to Phnom Penh this week to visit her husband in Prey

Sar prison and will meet Rin's lawyer to discuss the letters to the SMC and the King.

"I'm afraid that he [Rin] will die in prison because he doesn't have medicine,"

said Sav. She said she too had become ill because of the fright of Rin's arrest.

Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, said Rin was arrested on October

25 about 1pm by government forces in the remote Trapaing Prasath district of Oddar

Meanchey province. Rin had fled to Oddar Meanchey several months ago to live on a

farm to escape arrest, he said.

Sopheak said Rin was arrested while building a house with his nephews. After he was

apprehended, Rin was escorted overnight from Oddar Meanchey to Siem Reap. He was

driven to Prey Sar prison, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, the following day.

"France, Britain and Australia applauded the government's arrest. [Rin] was

in prison 24 hours after he was arrested," Sopheak said.

Sav said Rin, 54, went to Trapaing Prasath a few months ago when his declining health

appeared to improve. She said Rin told her he would continue to live there if authorities

failed to find him.

Ouch Nuon, Rin's former physician, said people living in Phnom Voar were surprised

by the arrest and that thousands of supporters were preparing to thumbprint the appeals.

"We do not believe Rin killed those three Western people," Nuon said. "Why

doesn't the government arrest other KR commanders who were involved with the killing

instead of allowing them to live at large?"

In February, the Supreme Court upheld a previous conviction on terrorism charges

and a life sentence for Rin's role in a 1994 train attack that resulted in the deaths

of 13 Cambodians. Three Western backpackers - Australian David Wilson, Briton Mark

Slater, and Frenchman Jean-Michel Braquet - were also kidnapped, held for ransom

and later killed.

In Chiva, Kampot deputy police chief, said former Khmer Rouge soldiers in Phnom Voar

did not display any significant reaction to the news of the arrest of their former


"The Australian embassy had continued to raise Chhouk Rin's evasion of justice

with the Cambodian authorities," said a spokesman for the Australian Embassy

in Phnom Penh the day after Rin's arrest.

"We welcome the [news] that Chhouk Rin has been apprehended and appreciate the

commitment of the Cambodian authorities in bringing Chhouk Rin and other perpetrators

to justice for the deaths of David Wilson and his two companions," the spokesman


Rin's superiors in the Khmer Rouge military, Nuon Paet and Sam Bith were also sentenced

to life imprisonment for their involvement in the 1994 attack which occurred on a

stretch of railway in southern Cambodia once renowned for train ambushes.

Paet was arrested in 1998 and remains in Prey Sar prison. Bith was arrested in 2002

and is in Monivong Hospital.


  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman