Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Medic recalls Pol Pot’s ‘treason’



Medic recalls Pol Pot’s ‘treason’

Former Khmer Rouge regiment commander Ieng Phan (left) testifies before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia in Case 002/02 earlier this week. ECCC
Former Khmer Rouge regiment commander Ieng Phan (left) testifies before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia in Case 002/02 earlier this week. ECCC

Medic recalls Pol Pot’s ‘treason’

A former Khmer Rouge medic – and relative of former East Zone secretary Sao Phim – yesterday told the Khmer Rouge tribunal that he began fighting a battle on two fronts, against both Vietnam and Pol Pot, after he learned of the “treasonous” mass executions of his fellow cadres.

The witness, identified by the pseudonym 2-TCW-1065, served as a medic during intense border clashes with the Vietnamese before eventually accepting their help.

The witness said he shared a blood tie, through his grandmother, with reputed “traitor” Sao Phim, who was suspected of planning a coup d’etat. Phim took his own life in 1977 after being surrounded by his Khmer Rouge comrades.

“Sao Phim said Pol Pot did not betray all of us, but I myself believed [he] betrayed us, because Pol Pot killed people,” he said. “An army came with tanks to surround [Sao Phim] . . . he had no choice but kill himself.”

With great attention to detail, the witness recounted how, in 1977, a large group of people at the Eastern battlefront were called to a meeting and executed. One soldier managed to escape on foot, but was shot in the arm as he fled.

“He ran to see me and told me cadres invited to the meeting had all been arrested . . . And I realised Pol Pot committed treason,” the witness said.

One person spared by these mass killings was current National Assembly President Heng Samrin, who was assigned to another office, the witness said.

The witness took to the stand after two-star General Ieng Phan completed his testimony from Monday, in which he said Khmer Rouge leader Ta Mok was “very strict in his words”.

“‘Above his head there was his hat, and above his hat there was only sky’ . . . That expression was used when we wanted to refer to his power,” Phan said, indicating no one was Mok’s superior.

Phan also recalled the moment when he was twice wounded in battle against the Vietnamese. “I was wounded in my leg, and while I was being carried through the rice field, we stepped on a mine and a person who was carrying me at the front died,” he said, adding mines were laid by both sides.

“That is the art of war, we had to use all kinds of tactics or strategies,” he said.

Defence lawyer Victor Koppe questioned Phan about Pen Sovann, Cambodia’s first post-Khmer Rouge prime minister, who passed away on October 29 at 80. “Unfortunately, [he] died two days ago. So he will never testify” here, Koppe said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a