Former Khmer Rouge navy commander Meas Muth has hit back at allegations by local activist Theary Seng, who filed a complaint against him at Cambodia’s war crimes tribunal this week, denying that he was involved in KR atrocities.
On Monday, Theary Seng, president of the Civicus Centre for Cambodian Education, filed a civil party application with the tribunal targeted at Meas Muth and former Khmer Rouge air force commander Sou Met, claiming the two are suspects in the court’s pending third and fourth cases.
Prosecutors have proposed five suspects for investigation in these cases, which are still in the preliminary stage. The identities of these people remain confidential, though Meas Muth and Sou Met have long been suggested as likely suspects for the court.
Meas Muth said yesterday, however, that he was not concerned about Theary Seng’s allegations or a potential case against him because he had “made no mistakes”.
“I was never involved with arrests or killings. If you ask me about fighting and shooting, I know that well and can talk about it,” he said.
“I see that she is trying to accuse me because she wants to make money from it. It is her business to do this.”
Theary Seng said yesterday that she had collected enough evidence to support her claim that Meas Muth and Sou Met had contributed to the deaths of her parents by helping to formulate the policy of mass arrests and executions implemented under Democratic Kampuchea.
“It’s not surprising that Mr Meas Muth should claim ignorance and should claim innocence, because the charges lodged against him are very grave and would have very serious consequences should a legitimate court and a legitimate trial move forward,” she said.
Tribunal officials have reacted angrily to Theary Seng’s civil party application, the first lodged in relation to the court’s controversial third and fourth cases. United Nations court spokesman Lars Olsen called it a “reckless act which shows complete disregard for judicial due process and principles of law”.
Theary Seng said yesterday that Olsen’s comments were “incredibly misleading” and “highly offensive”.
“It makes me wonder whether the UN is really giving up on this case, whether they too have succumbed to political influence,” she said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen and other officials have expressed opposition to Cases 003 and 004, claiming they are a threat to the Kingdom’s stability.