Khmer Rouge

Khmer Rouge Suspect Sou Met Dead, Witnesses Report

Khmer Rouge Guerrilla soldiers. Photo courtesy of ECCC. Khmer Rouge Guerrilla soldiers. Photo courtesy of ECCC.
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Khmer Rouge Guerrilla soldiers. Photo courtesy of ECCC.
Khmer Rouge Guerrilla soldiers. Photo courtesy of ECCC.
Sok KhemaraVOA Khmer
WASHINGTON DC - A former Khmer Rouge commander thought to be a suspect at the UN-backed tribunal has died.

Sou Met, who commanded the Khmer Rouge air force, was accused of major atrocity crimes as a ranking member of the regime.

Residents in Battambang town, where he was living freely and acting as an adviser to the Ministry of Defense, say Sou Met died on June 14 and has already been cremated.

He was thought to be more than 70 years old and suffered from high blood pressure and diabetes.

He was named in confidential court documents as a defendant in controversial tribunal Case 003, which is under investigation.

He was implicated in Khmer Rouge purges, forced labor and illegal detention, including sending hundreds of prisoners to the notorious Tuol Sleng torture center.

His death follows that of former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary in March.

Only one suspect remains in Case 003, a case that has faced serious opposition from Prime Minister Hun Sen and other senior officials and that some observers doubt will see court.
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Cambodia’s political deadlock has ended. For nearly a year, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has refused to join the government, calling for electoral reforms in a system it says was deeply flawed. Following nearly five hours of meetings between top opposition officials and Prime Minister Hun Sen, that deadlock has ended. The two sides finally reached agreement on a formula for selecting the National Election Committee, which the Rescue Party has said was biased toward the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. Hun Sen and Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy emerged from talks Tuesday smiling and shaking hands. “Victory,” Hun Sen told reporters after the meeting. “You can all applaud.” (Heng Reaksmey, Phnom Penh)

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