Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - KR purge came close to claiming witness

KR purge came close to claiming witness

KR purge came close to claiming witness

As a Khmer Rouge sol­dier stationed in Ratanakkiri province since 1975, Oung Ren had seen several comrades purged; in 1977, his commander told him he, too, had been denounced, the witness told the Khmer Rouge tribunal yesterday.

“He told me that 870 required me to go to Phnom Penh tomorrow,” Ren said, referring to the regime’s central office. “Of course, I was concerned after hearing that. I did not know what would happen.”

According to a letter the prosecution presented in court, from S-21 head Duch to a “respected brother”, Ren was one of 58 soldiers named as enemies of the regime by former comrade Keo Saroeun, who had been sent to the Phnom Penh prison earlier in 1977.

“I was concerned that I could meet the same fate,” Ren said.

Orders for such arrests must have originated with “high ranking people”, Ren said, because they always came from central office 870.

Ren was about to leave for the capital, to meet almost certain death, when his superior “said that the situation was not that good” and that he should stay put with him.

Earlier in the day, the defence finished questioning former security guard Sar Veak, who reiterated he frequently had seen Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary and Khieu Samphan visiting Khmer Rouge administrative centre K-1.

Khieu Samphan counsel Arthur Vercken probed Veak about undocumented interactions with the investigating judges before his recorded interviews, pursuing a line of questioning through which the defence often has sought to cast doubt on the extraction and presentation of testimony.

In response to Veak’s statement that he had been interviewed on a particular day, Vercken read from Veak’s recorded December 5, 2007, interview, in which an investigating judge referred to a conversation with the witness “yesterday”.

“It seems like you met with them the day before,” Vercken said. “Do you remember this?”

Veak responded: “Before I signed on the record of the interview, I had been interviewed on several occasions, and people came to see me several times before. I don’t remember the exact date or the names of the people who came to see me, but I believe these were the same people who came to see me on 5 December.”

Like the day before, Nuon Chea and Ieng Sary were ordered to follow the day’s proceedings from their holding cells because they were “fatigued and dizzy”.



To contact the reporter on this story: Justine Drennan at [email protected]


  • Phnom Penh’s Jet’s Container Night Market shuts down

    The famous Jet’s Container Night Market in central Phnom Penh has shut down due to the high cost of the land rental, company representatives claim. Jet’s Container Night Market is the largest such market in Phnom Penh. It operated for just over two

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • EU ambassador to Cambodia: Rights a ‘work in progress’

    The EU ambassador to Cambodia has called human rights “a work in progress” and said the 28-nation bloc has “carefully” noted last week’s statement by the government on taking further steps to strengthen democracy and the political sphere in the Kingdom. The EU marked

  • Assembly passes amendment to Political Party Law Article 45

    The National Assembly on Thursday unanimously approved a proposed amendment to Article 45 of the Law on Political Parties in a move that could pave the way for former senior opposition leaders banned for five years to return to the political stage. As expected, the 115 ruling