Cambodia

At Tribunal, US Author Outlines Role of Khieu Samphan in the Khmer Rouge

Khieu Samphan is on trial for atrocity crimes alongside two other aging regime leaders.

Photographer take pictures of David Chandler, 76, a researcher and author who writes book about Khmer Rouge history, is seen in a screen at the court press center of the U.N.-backed tribunal, file photo. Photographer take pictures of David Chandler, 76, a researcher and author who writes book about Khmer Rouge history, is seen in a screen at the court press center of the U.N.-backed tribunal, file photo.
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Photographer take pictures of David Chandler, 76, a researcher and author who writes book about Khmer Rouge history, is seen in a screen at the court press center of the U.N.-backed tribunal, file photo.
Photographer take pictures of David Chandler, 76, a researcher and author who writes book about Khmer Rouge history, is seen in a screen at the court press center of the U.N.-backed tribunal, file photo.
Kong SothanarithVOA Khmer
PHNOM PENH - Jailed Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan held the “highest position” possible within the Khmer Rouge but wielded little power, a US expert on the the regime told the UN-backed tribunal on Tuesday.

Khieu Samphan, who is on trial for atrocity crimes alongside two other aging regime leaders, was the former head of state, said David Chandler, a leading scholar and author on the Khmer Rouge.

However, that position “was not the equivalent to the person or the people who exercised power in Democratic Kampuchea,” he told the court, referring to the regime by its official name.

Prosecutors have been working to connect Khieu Samphan, the former head of state; Nuon Chea, the regime’s chief ideologue; and Ieng Sary, its foreign minister, in joint criminal activity for their leadership roles in the regime.

Khieu Samphan’s position existed in the constitution of the regime, but “we know absolutely nothing about what came with it,” Chandler said. “The Communist Party of Democratic Kampuchea had more power than the institutions mentioned in the constitution.”

There was also a semblance of a separation of powers in the regime, but only to have it not appear as a totalitarian state, he said. “A lot of operations were secret,” he said. And the structure of the regime had “a lot of overlapping power, of jurisdiction.”
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US Will Continue Supporting Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Diplomat Saysi
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28 August 2014
The US will continue its support for the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal, a senior US diplomat says. In an interview with VOA Khmer in Phnom Penh, Scot Marciel, the top diplomat for Asia and Pacific at the US State Department, said the tribunal can serve as an example to Cambodians and the world. “We are very pleased to be abel to contribute to this tribunal, and we certainly welcome the results of the recent case,” Marciel said, referring to recent life sentences for aging leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan. (Sok Khemara, Phnom Penh)

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