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Nuon Paet appeal scheduled

Nuon Paet appeal scheduled

FORMER Khmer Rouge commander Nuon Paet is scheduled to go to court on August 30 for

his appeal hearing. Paet was sentenced last year to life imprisonment for his involvement

in the kidnapping and slaying of three western backpackers in 1994.

At his trial in June last year, Paet pleaded innocent to all charges, which included

murdering the three hostages. Paet said the order to kill the backpackers came from

his superior Sam Bit and was carried out by military chief Vith Vorn.

When the Post met Paet in Prey Sor prison the day before Chhouk Rin's July 18 trial,

Paet maintained his innocence.

"The hostages had been dead for three days when I found out that they had been

killed. The KR leadership didn't trust me with the prisoners, because I had released

other people before. When I released an American woman hostage, the leaders accused

me of being involved with the Americans," Paet said outside the cell he shares

with one other prisoner.

Paet was the KR commander at Phnom Vour where the backpackers were held. He never

formally defected to the government like Bit and Rin. Coincidentally, the date of

his appeal hearing marks the six-years anniversary of the deadline for delivering

the ransom for the three hostages.

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