Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Purges were widespread, specialist tells KR tribunal

Purges were widespread, specialist tells KR tribunal

Purges were widespread, specialist tells KR tribunal

090520_03.jpg
090520_03.jpg

On his second day of testimony, Khmer Rouge specialist Craig Etcheson details purges at all levels of regime.

Photo by:
AFP

Kaing Guek Eav, or Duch, appears at his trial at the KR tribunal in this file photo.

AN American genocide expert told the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal Tuesday that purges of the Khmer Rouge's own government and military officials was "widespread".

Craig Etcheson, who is currently an investigator with the co-prosecutors and an expert in the regime's structure, said purges occurred at all

levels.

"There were widespread purges throughout Democratic Kampuchea ... the revolutionary army of Kampuchea," Etcheson told the court. "Some purged military personnel were executed within their own unit of organisation; others were sent to force labour camps or S-21."

Etcheson, who is the author of The Rise and Demise of Democratic Kampuchea, is the first foreign expert called for testimony about the regime's treatment of prisoners at S-21, the prison camp directed by Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch.

He told the court that more than 1,000 cadres from the eastern zone and more than 1,000 from the northwest zone were sent to S-21 during the purges. More than 1,400 people from at least four of the regime's ministries were also arrested and sent to S-21.

"There were widespread arrests throughout all of the government's ministries. The purging was quite extensive," he said, adding that S-21 received detainees from virtually every unit of organisation across the country.

During the hearing, defence council Francois Roux objected to a report used in Etcheson's testimony that described the military and communications networks.

"In the report, there are only a few words about S-21.... Now, the expert witness is giving us a specific analysis of S-21. So we are no longer accepting any context here," Roux argued.

But the objection was rejected by the tribunal judges after a three-hour recess.

MOST VIEWED

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • PM warns EU and opposition on 34th anniversary of his rule

    HUN Sen reached the milestone of 34 years as Cambodian prime minister on Monday and used the groundbreaking ceremony for a new ring road around Phnom Penh to tell the international community that putting sanctions on the Kingdom meant killing the opposition. “Please don’t forget