News / Asia

    Former Khmer Rouge Deny War Crimes Charges

    Police officers line up to attend a hearing of former Khmer Rouge leaders at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, August 29, 2011
    Police officers line up to attend a hearing of former Khmer Rouge leaders at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, August 29, 2011

    Multimedia

    The world is watching as citizens in some Middle Eastern countries seek justice against recently toppled leaders of sometimes brutal governments. In Cambodia, the reign of the Maoist Khmer Rouge ended decades ago, but efforts to bring those responsible to justice continue. Three of those facing prosecution may finally face justice after many years in the Khmer Rouge tribunals.


    Ta An is accused of being part of a killing campaign during the Khmer Rouge's rule in the late 1970s.

    But he denied overseeing genocide. He said he was transferred to Kompong Cham province, where some 150,000 died, after the killing took place.

    “When I arrived, that was finished already, from the bottom up to the highest levels. I focused on re-organizing new villages and communes. I was not involved in anything at all,” he said.

    Court documents prepared by the Khmer Rouge tribunal list his alleged crimes: forced labor, inhumane living conditions, unlawful arrest and detention, physical and mental abuse, torture and killing.  

    “At present I am not fearful of the court, and in the future, when I die, I won’t be afraid of Yama [the  Buddhist god of the dead]. Not fearful. I am now doing good deeds. I practice religious art. I did not commit killings. But am I afraid of Yama? I am not afraid.”

    Im Chaem is accused of being responsible for 40,000 deaths. She said the charges are lies.

    “I turn to worry about those who’ve made allegations against me. I don’t know who did this to me. This is a life-and-death issue and involves politics. It is wrong as to what I did and my actions. It is clearly different as the earth and the sky,” she said.

    Meas Muth, a former army general, is among those under investigation in the United Nations-backed tribunal's third and fourth cases. He also denied being part of a killing campaign, and said the cases are not valid.

    “The law for the prosecution of Khmer Rouge leaders limits to only the senior leaders and the most responsible leaders. Right now they are already there. If they bring more people, it is beyond the law. And if so, it would cause problems to our society and security,” he said.

    Muth’s alleged crimes include sending Khmer Rouge members in his division to death at Tuol Sleng prison, known as S-21, a charge he denied. He does admit, though, to some incidents taking place within his ranks.

    “There could be some which happened when the General Staff was called to attend a study. Later the unit was informed that certain individuals were not allowed to go back. The General Staff would then send them to S-21.”

    Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said he does not want more Khmer Rouge tribunal cases, charging they could destabilize national security. But the tribunal's staff are under international pressure to find justice for the victims many years ago.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora