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KRT hears of Kampot exodus

KRT hears of Kampot exodus

A former district secretary during the Democratic Kampuchea regime test-ified at the Khmer Rouge tribunal yesterday that she had observed people being evacuated from Kampot town but did not know who had made the decision to evacuate them.

Under questioning from the prosecution about her activities in the 1970s after she “joined the revolution”, 67-year-old witness Prak Yut, originally from Takeo province, said she had seen people “filling the road” but felt it was “none of her business”.

“I saw them being evacuated from Kampot city, but I just did not know who made the decision for such evacuat-ion,” she later testified.

Prak Yut, who also testified that she became a district secretary in Kampong Cham province in 1977 after being a member of a sector committee in Kampot province since 1973, said she did not know if the evacuation was discussed in the regime’s “upper echelons”.

Asked by prosecutors about the evacuees’ condition, Prak Yut said they endured “some difficulties and hardships”. “People who were walking with children in the sun, I think it was difficult,” she said.

Prak Yut appeared to have difficulty recollecting dates and events during her testimony, including her age at the time she “joined the revolution”, and was repeatedly prompted with statements she gave to court investigators in 2009.

The first “mini-trial” of Case 002, involving the most senior surviving leaders of the regime, is focusing on charges relating to the forced movement of the population from urban cent-res, including Phnom Penh.

Meanwhile, Trial Chamber president Nil Nonn said yesterday Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Centre of Cambodia, would testify during the next two weeks, following this week’s testimony by DC-Cam deputy director Vanthan Dara Poeu.

Defence teams have repeatedly requested that Youk Chhang testify in relation to documentation provided by the organisation to parties at the ECCC.

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