A witness at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal yesterday gave evidence of his detention at the Phnom Kraol security centre, while the court debated whether to include documents from Stasi archives, which give details on some of Cambodia’s top brass, in Case 002/02.
Soldier Chan Toi, a messenger for the Koh Nhek district chief – the nephew of the Sector 105 people’s representative – in Mondulkiri during the Khmer Rouge regime, gave details of his arrest and detention.
While also drawing on the written record of Toi’s 2008 interview, the tribunal heard how the Sector 105 chief and the people’s representative were sent to Phnom Penh and mysteriously disappeared. “I heard at Phnom Penh they exchanged gunfire and died . . . I do not know if they were sent to be killed,” Toi said.
Citing a separate witness statement, the defence read an account suggesting the people’s representative had murdered the sector chief with a piece of iron, then killed himself – an account Toi said he had no knowledge of. “After the two individuals disappeared . . . there was chaos in that sector,” Toi said.
He detailed how relatives and those linked to the people’s representative were detained at Phnom Kraol.
During his month-long detention, Toi said detainees were tied up, given insufficient food, and contracted skin diseases in the unhygienic centre. “They arrested me arbitrarily,” he said. “I was not interrogated . . . they said we were all traitors.”
Pressed on inconsistencies in his testimony by both prosecution and defence, Toi said: “I do not recall what I said .. . I do not really want to hear about the regime again, and I do not want a reoccurrence of that regime.”
The chamber also heard submissions from Nuon Chea’s team to admit kurzbiographie (short biographies) of nine people – including Heng Samrin, Hun Sen and Chea Sim – ahead of Monday’s questioning of expert witness Alexander Hinton, author of Why Did They Kill?
The prosecution did not object to the documents, which had been translated from Vietnamese intelligence, but said the majority would not be relevant to the expert, who will be questioned on the Khmer Rouge treatment Cham Muslims.