Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Role small, memory cloudy, former KRouge banker tells court



Role small, memory cloudy, former KRouge banker tells court

Role small, memory cloudy, former KRouge banker tells court

For six hours yesterday at the Khmer Rouge tribunal, Sar Kimlomouth, who served as deputy director general of the state bank, consistently downplayed both his level of authority within the department and his ability to recall information from so long ago.

Throughout the day’s proceedings, lawyers for the prosecution and civil party teams attempted to extract details about the hierarchy within Democratic Kampuchea’s Ministry of Commerce from a former banker within the regime.

“I’ve never been chairperson of any meeting … and if there were such a meeting [in which I was chairman], it would’ve been a low-profile meeting,” Sar Kimlomouth said in response to questions about his attendance at a meeting with Korean diplomats.

“It’s been 30 years since then, so I can’t recall every detail,” he said during one exchange, in a mantra that would become familiar throughout the day’s proceedings.

At times, the former financier seemed to contradict himself when speaking to the extent of his knowledge about “disappearances” within the ministry.

In the morning, while being questioned by senior assistant prosecutor Tarik Abdulhak, Sar Kimlomouth said he had been “concerned” and “worried” about his safety because of the sudden disappearance of members within the ministry.

However, later, during questioning by civil party lawyers, Sar Kimlomouth backtracked, saying that he did not know about the arrests of his colleagues and his “concern wasn’t about coming to know about [the arrests], it was the general situation that I observed when people didn’t turn up for work”.

“I noticed people didn’t turn up to work sometimes, and I wondered what happened to them, but I didn’t know … they were arrested or where they were taken to,” he said.

Sar Kimlomouth also downplayed the importance of the bank he helped lead, saying it was mostly “symbolic” and “nominal”.

Defence teams for Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary and Khieu Samphan will conduct their cross-examinations of Sar Kimlomouth today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristin Lynch at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Covid in Kingdom hits ‘critical point’

    The Covid-19 situation in Cambodia has reached a critical point, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned, as cases surge with two more deaths and 265 infections reported over the weekend. On March 28 alone, the Ministry of Health recorded 86 Covid-19 cases linked to the February 20

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Cambodia set for large-scale vaccination campaign as Covid spreads

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed all provincial authorities to get ready for a large-scale vaccination campaign, with at least one million doses to be administered per month. “We will roll out at least one million doses. The vaccines we have purchased and received as

  • Covid-19 spreads in Kingdom, infects more children

    The Ministry of Health on March 28 reported another 86 Covid-19 cases linked to the February 20 community outbreak. Among them, two are Chinese and the rest are Cambodian. Preah Sihanouk province recorded the most cases at 43, followed by the capital at 25; three each in Tbong Khmum, Svay