Ieng Sary Denies Responsibility of Mass Murder
Posted by khmernews on October 15, 2007
As the Khmer Rouge Tribunal is moving towards the trial in early 2008, Ieng sary, known to have been the third highest ranking Khmer Rouge official, denies responsibility for the deaths of millions of Cambodians during the Khmer Rouge regime. “It was not related with me,” he said.
On October 7, 2007, a source in Thailand reported that Ieng Sary, former deputy prime minister and foreign minister of the Khmer Rouge regime, traveled to Thailand to have his illnesses treated. According to the source, Ing Sary sit in a wheelchair. In response to questions from journalists, Ieng Sary denied responsibility of the mass killings and torture of the people between 1975 and 1979 and said it had not been related with him. However, his answer has been considered to be an excuse since surviving Khmer Rouge leaders have typically claimed innocence in the crimes committed when their communist group held power in Cambodia
Ieng Sary told journalists when he arrived at the airport in Bangkok on Sunday that he believed he would be the next person to face charges by the UN-backed genocidal tribunal, but he denied the responsibility for the deaths of some 1.7 million people during the Khmer Rouge’s rule of Cambodia in the late 1970s.
“I have done nothing wrong. I am a gentle person. I believe in good deeds. I even made good deeds to save several people’s lives (during the regime),” the Associated Press quoted 75-year-old Ieng Sary as saying.
Ieng Sary has a heart problem and he is visiting Bangkok for a regular heart checkup.
“My heart is not functioning well following previous surgeries. My health is my big concern now,” said Ieng Sary, adding that he would return to Cambodia in a few days.
Nuon Chea, former president of Democratic Kampuchea National Assembly and deputy secretary general of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, was arrested on September 19, 2007. Before the arrest, he already denied that he had known about the killings during his rule of Cambodia. Khieu Samphan, former Khmer Rouge head of state, also claimed that although he was the former leader of the Khmer Rouge regime, he knew nothing about the killings or the creating of the killing fields.
Through a local radio station, Khieu Samphan’s wife, So Socheat, said during the Khmer Rouge regime her husband had had the lowest position. “His tasks were only to distribute foods and agricultural instruments. Pol Pot only needed my husband to act as a “host” in the formal public events,” said So Socheat. She also suggests the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to investigate thoroughly into the core of the case in order to find out how the genocide in Cambodia took place.
Kar Savuth, lawyer of Kaing Guek Eav, aka Duch, has recently appealed the court to release his client on bail and claimed that Duch had been arrested for 8 years since 1999. He said his client was only a former head of Tuol Sleng prison but had been detained for so long. However, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) does not approve the release.
In response to the denial of the former Khmer Rouge leaders and the appeal for the release of Duch, various groups have reacted: “If the leaders (Khmer Rouge leaders) did not know about the atrocities, who knew then?” During the regime, there was a mass evacuation of the people from the city. People were forced to dig canal, build dykes, and do labour tasks. Many people were starved to death. Cities were empty with no people. “Didn’t the Khmer Rouge leaders know about these?”
Moreover, Tuol Sleng prison was the place for severe torturing and interrogation. If the chief of the prison did not give order, no one could do that. For these great atrocities they committed, the Khmer Rouge leaders should be hanged in the public.
-Extracted from Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol. 14, #3159, Tuesday, October 09, 2007.