In his first public comments since the funeral of his father, former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary, Ieng Vuth yesterday vehemently denied reports that he had millions stashed in a Hong Kong bank account.
“All these allegations are false,” said Vuth, who is also deputy governor of Pailin province. “This is not the first time they try to accuse him of that. He has already died, and they should understand.”
Since the death of Sary nearly three weeks ago, local and international news outlets have reported that the former leader died with perhaps millions of dollars in foreign holdings, including a Hong Kong bank account that at the time of the Khmer Rouge integration with the government contained $20 million.
Noting that similar allegations have been made in the past, including one that Sary held a large account in Cuba, Vuth called such claims hollow.
“I still insist it is not true, and I want them to show the evidence,” he said.
“I think people who do good will receive good, and those who do bad will receive bad,” Vuth added.
Also yesterday, the Office of the Co-Prosecutors at the Khmer Rouge tribunal announced it had concluded its investigation into Sary’s death, having confirmed that the 87-year-old had died of a sudden heart failure caused by a long-standing cardiac condition.
Prosecutor William Smith said that the prosecution would not be making public the full report on their findings – which were confirmed by Sary’s doctors and witnesses present at his death, and contain his full medical history – “based on the general principle that an individual has a right to privacy of their medical records”.
However, he added, the investigation into Sary’s death, which “commenced only minutes after Ieng Sary died and continued for several days following his death,” had ruled out any suspicion that Sary died of anything other than natural causes.