Former Khmer Rouge Senior Leader Warns that Instability Might Happen During Duch’s Hearing Today – Tuesday 17.2.2009

Posted on 18 February 2009. Filed under: Week 600 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 600

“On 17 February 2009, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia – ECCC – will hold a hearing for the cruel former Tuol Sleng Prison chief, Kaing Gek Eav, called Duch, who is responsible for the death of 16,000 people.

“Ahead of this hearing, a former senior Khmer Rouge military commander, Meas Mut, known as a son-in-law of the deceased [former Khmer Rouge military leader “the butcher”] Ta Mok, claimed that to call additional people to the court will lead to instability in Cambodia. However, some observers said that Prime Minister Hun Sen, head of the current government created by a package vote, will not let political instability to happen because of hearings of former senior Khmer Rouge leaders.

“Recently, the former chief of the Division 164 of the Khmer Rouge, Meas Mut, said that he used to control 20,000 troops of the Division 164 as well as 50,000 women and children at the Southwest Region. Meas Mut said late last week that he knew nothing about planned investigations of additional suspects besides the five people already detained in the special detention center of the tribunal, waiting for hearings over crimes against humanity and war crimes.

“Nevertheless, when asked about possible hearings of additional former Khmer Rouge leaders, Meas Mut said that “it will make Cambodia fall into instability again.” But Meas Mut did not give any details of how instability might occur. This retired military advisor said that he would appear at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal if he is accused. Meas Mut, who lives in Samlot in Battambang, seemed not worried about accusation by the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

“It should be noted that in a book published in 2001 with the title “Seven Candidates for Prosecution,” written by Stephen Heder and Brian Tittemore, Meas Mut is considered to be an important suspect for the tribunal’s investigations, because there is evidence that Meas Mut sent some of his troops to the atrocious S-21 detention center in Phnom Penh during a time of internal purges in the Cambodian Communist Party. But Meas Mut denied two weeks ago that any of his troops were sent to the S-21 detention center, and he said there were no deaths of starvation and of diseases, while historians claim that it led to the deaths of more than 2 million people during the Khmer Rouge regime.

“Reacting to what Meas Mut said above, Khmer citizens living in Samlot, the last basis of Khmer Rouge forces, said that the arrest of Meas Mut will not cause instability to the nation. Some agree with this claim, because at present the leadership structure of the Khmer Rouge no longer exists. Therefore, they cannot gather forces to create social instability or to struggle in the forest as before.

“Besides warning about political instability, the former senior Khmer Rouge military commander Meas Mut said that he was ready to testify to the tribunal, and that he will not flee form prosecution. Ta Mok’s son-in-law pointed out, ‘I have nowhere to hide myself besides my home.’ Regarding the above problem, observers of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s process criticized Meas Mut’s claims as not worth for general consideration.

“Officials of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal said that the first hearing of the former Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Gek Eav, called Duch, will happen on 17 February 2009 without further delay. But what is of concern is that the ECCC allows very few witnesses to attend that hearing, even though there are hundreds of people who applied to be civil plaintiffs. This makes those who filed to be civil plaintiffs disappointed, and they have little trust in Duch’s hearing.

“Non-government organizations that observe the process of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal said that few witnesses take part to put burden on the accused. This is not very good, because it might affect the seriousness of the punishment of the accused perpetrator. Therefore, the ECCC should allow many witnesses to attend the hearing on 17 February 2009, event though the ECCC does not allow all of them to question the accused. Important witnesses of Duch’s hearing are people such as former prisoners of the Tuol Sleng Prison, [the painter] Mr. Van Nath and Mr. Chum Mei, and they should be permitted to question Duch about crimes of killing people that he committed.

“Independent observers said that the first hearing of Duch on 17 February 2009 is a crucial step towards the hearings of the four other accused in the special detention center of the tribunal. The next person to be heard is expected to be the former president of the national assembly and Brother Number 2 of the killing field regime, Nuon Chea. Thus, if Duch’s hearing proceeds smoothly, hearings of other Khmer Rouge leaders might also continue smoothly without any obstacles. This is a problem that the United Nations and the Cambodian government should consider in order to help that the hearing of Kaing Gek Eav, called Duch, goes smoothly, so that the national and international opinions trust the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, plagued by a strong burden of corruption [allegations] again.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3689, 17.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #19, 17.2.2009

  • A Former Child in the Tuol Sleng Prison [Mr. Noung Changphal] and a [Khmer] Cameraman of the Vietnamese Troops [Mr. Ho Vanntei] Provide Evidences to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #117, 17.2.2009

  • A Tragedy in a Family Contracting AIDS: A Man Hangs His [three-year-old] Son before He Hangs Himself [Siem Reap]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1875, 17.2.2009

  • Samdech Hun Sen: The Global Witness’s Report Is Stupid
  • Civil Society [the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC – and the Cambodian National Research Organization]: If One Party Cares Only about Its Own Interest, It Will Not Last Long
  • [Many] Cambodian Civil Society Organizations Study the Process to Establish an ASEAN Human Rights Body
  • [Venezuelan president] Mr. Chaves Wins Bid to Abolish Presidential Limits on Number of Re-Elections

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6580, 17.2.2009

  • National Television Will Broadcast the First Hearing of Former Tuol Sleng Prison Chief [Kaing Gek Eav, also known as Duch] Live
    Impacts Are Short-Lasting; Samdech Dekchor: The Real Economic Motivation Is to Encourage Investments in Agriculture

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3689, 17.2.2009

  • Former Khmer Rouge Senior Leader Warns that Instability Might Happen During Duch’s Hearing Today
  • Khmer Kampuchea Krom Federation Demands that the Yuon [Vietnamese] Authorities Remove More Than 550 Spies from Pagodas in Kampuchea Krom

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4823, 17.2.2009

  • The Phnom Penh Municipal Court Convicted Three Dey Krahom Villagers [to serve 18 months in prison and to pay Riel 2 million, corresponding to approx. US$490, on the accusation of assaulting and of destroying property of the 7NG Company]
  • Siamese [Thai] Para Soldiers Shot at Six Khmer Villagers Picking Mushrooms; Two of Them Were Abducted [Banteay Ampil, Oddar Meanchey]
  • H.E. Bun Rany Hun Sen Asks for Controls to Prevent Obscene Activities
  • 2009: The Ministry of Public Work and Transport Makes 157 Officials Retire
  • A Man Tied Two [six-year-old] Girls Together and Raped Them One after the Other [the man was arrested – Banteay Meanchey]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3486, 17.2.2009

  • Olympic Market Vendors Become Calm as the [Thai Boon Rong] Company Announces to Reduce the Stall Prices

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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