PHNOM PENH - Jailed Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan was faithful to the regime and was in charge of publishing information for new adherents to the Maoist movement, witnesses told the UN-backed tribunal Wednesday.
Rochem Tun, a former messenger for Pol Pot, told the court that Khieu Samphan had been in charge of propaganda for the movement in the 1960s.
Khieu Samphan, the former head of state for the regime, is on trial alongside Nuon Chea, its chief ideologue, and Ieng Sary, its foreign minister, for atrocity crimes committed by the regime under their leadership.
Rochem Tun, who joined the movement in 1963, told the court Khieu Samphan had been in charge of propaganda for the National United Front of Kampuchea, better known as FUNK. “He had his team, and the FUNK was totally under his responsibility,” Rochem Tun said. “He wrote in Khmer and in foreign languages.”
Rochem Tun described the Front’s strategy to gather intellectuals under the movement, “and after we had collected all the national forces, then there would be some class division.”
Four leaders arrested by the court, including the three on trial and Ieng Thirith, who has been excused from trial because of mental illness, taught Khmer Rouge cadre before the movement camE to power, Rochem Tun said.
In his final day of testimony at the court, David Chandler, a Khmer Rouge scholar and author, told the tribunal that Khieu Samphan had been faithful “but fearful” under the regime of former monarch Norodom Sihanouk, leading him to leave for the countryside with the Khmer Rouge.