Ieng Sary, Wife Ieng Thirith Appeal Detention. Where Are Other Suspects?

Posted by khmernews on December 21, 2007


Ing Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith, former Khmer Rouge ministers who are being detained, have appealed against order of provisional detention by the Khmer Rouge court, court’s officials said.

Both of them were arrested last month and charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. Being charged with these crimes, the couple has been detained. They played an important role and was highly responsible for the ruthless Khmer Rouge regime from 1975-1979.

Reach Sambath, spokesman for the Khmer Rouge tribunal, said the Co-Lawyers of Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith had appealed to the court on Wednesday. “The court has accepted their case file,” said Sambath.

Ang Udom, Ieng Sary’s lawyer, said he was concerned that his client would die in detention facility. “We are so worried about his health,” Udom told AFP.

Prior to this, the court claimed that Ieng Sary and his wife might flee, and that therefore, the court refused the reasons of their health condition that claimed they could not escape from Cambodia.

The court also claimed that their detention is necessary to prevent any revenge from the victims of the genocidal regime and pressure on witnesses and victims.

“What the court has claimed is totally wrong,” said Ang Udom, claiming that Ieng Sary would not leave the country.

Pat Pov Seang, Ieng Thirith’s lawyer, also claimed that he had submitted the appeal because his client was mentally ill. However, he did not give detail information about Ieng Thirith’s current health condition.

Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith have overruled the allegations made against them. They are suspected of committing atrocities during the Khmer Rouge regime in which the most terrifying crimes of the 20th century took place. According to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, those crimes include mass killings, torture, imprisonment, slavery, and forced labour.

As many as almost 2 million Cambodians were killed during the Khmer Rouge regime through execution, starvation, and overwork. During the Khmer Rouge regime, Cambodians were evacuated from the cities to live and do agricultural work in Cooperatives. The Khmer Rouge regime abolished money, religions, and schools.

It should be noticed that the 5 former Khmer Rouge leaders who are being detained at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s detention facility are awaiting trial early next year.

Meanwhile, an abroad-based Cambodian newspaper Angkor Borey published an article entitled, “Where are Other Suspects?” The article published on December 12, 2007 wrote, “In the case of crimes against humanity, the number of suspects cannot be determined, especially the criminals who are considered as “Khmer Rouge leaders.”

Angkor Borey notices that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal has announced the arrest of only 5 former Khmer Rouge leaders, such as Kaing Guek Eav, aka Duch, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith, and Khieu Samphan. After the arrest, the court has not announced the arrest of any other senior Khmer Rouge leaders who are suspected similarly to the 5 suspects above.

However, there has not been any explanation to the ignorance. The public want to know why and what are the factors that the Khmer Rouge court ignores those people. Angkor Borey added that if the tribunal dared not arrest other Khmer Rouge leaders, the tribunal will become a tribunal only representing the Cambodian government. Therefore, it cannot be a transparent and fair tribunal.

Unofficial Translation
-Extracted from Sralanh Khmer, Vol. 03, #575, Friday, December 14, 2007.


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