Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ex-KR commander jailed over tourist murders dies

Ex-KR commander jailed over tourist murders dies

Ex-KR commander jailed over tourist murders dies

By AFP
By AFP

Sam Bith appears in a Phnom Penh court December 13, 2002.

Former Khmer Rouge commander Sam Bith, who was serving a life sentence over the kidnapping and murder of three Western backpackers in 1994, has died at aged 74.

According to his wife, Khem Ri, Bith died on the night of February 15. He had been treated for high blood pressure and diabetes at a hospital in Phnom Penh since last month, and drifted in and out of consciousness in his last 10 days, his wife said.

Sam Bith was sentenced to life in prison in 2002 by Phnom Penh municipal court over the abduction and murder of Australian David Wilson, Briton Mark Slater and Frenchman Jean-Michel Braquet.

The three were kidnapped after the train they were traveling in was attacked between Phnom Penh and the southern port city of Sihanoukville in 1994.

Thirteen Cambodians also died in the attack, and the Westerners were held for two months by Khmer Rouge rebels before ransom negotiations collapsed and they were killed by their captors.

Sam Bith had denied any involvement in the killings, saying he was hospitalized in Thailand at the time of the kidnappings, and that Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot had removed him from his position.

The murders triggered an international outcry and opened a long and emotional legal wrangle.

Two other former Khmer Rouge members, Nuon Paet and commander Chhouk Rin, are serving life prison sentences for their role in the killings. (AFP)

MOST VIEWED

  • Archeologists find ancient phallic statue

    An archeological team has found a metre-long tipless stone linga (penis) of the Hindu deity Shiva in the foundations of a temple in Kratie province’s historical Samphu Borak area, a former capital of the pre-Angkor Empire Chenla period. Thuy Chanthourn, the deputy director of

  • Man arrested for fake PM endorsement

    The owner of currency exchange company GCG Asia Co Ltd was temporarily detained by the court yesterday for attempted fraud after Prime Minister Hun Sen reacted to the company using his name and pictures to allege his endorsement of the firm. Phnom Penh Municipal Court

  • Sihanoukville authority orders structure dismantled

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration has ordered owners of two unauthorised construction sites to immediately dismantle them and warned of legal action if the owners failed to comply. Ly Chet Niyom, development management and construction bureau chief at the provincial hall, told The Post on

  • Police seek arrest of Chinese ‘gang’

    Cambodian police remain on the lookout for 20 Chinese nationals who earlier this month posted a video clip threatening to stoke insecurity in Preah Sihanouk province, though the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh maintained the group posed no threats to Cambodia’s national security. National Police