PHNOM PENH - Jailed Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan faced a victim at the UN-backed tribunal Friday, but he refused to answer questions.
The tribunal, which is currently trying Khieu Samphan and two other former leaders for atrocity crimes, allows for civil party complainants to question the accused, in addition to the prosecution.
The civil party structure is meant to add some public reconciliation to the process, a major mandate of the court.
Chau Ny, 59, a member of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom ethnic group, which are Khmers who live in today’s Mekong Delta region, was the first of that group to participate in tribunal proceedings Friday.
Many Khmer Krom were targeted by the Khmer Rouge under paranoid suspicions they were spies for the Vietnamese.
Chau Ny told the court that his uncle, Chau Sao, had refused two requests from Khieu Samphan to join with the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh after they came to power. He then disappeared.
“I want to know why,” Chau Ny told the court. “And did Khieu Samphan see my uncle?” he asked. “Where did he die? So I can find his body and make rites for him.”
Khieu Samphan invoked his right to remain silent.