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Tribunal Witness Describes Clearing Phnom Penh of ‘Enemies’

Cambodian military officials line up in front the top leaders of Khmer Rouge portraits, from right,  former Khmer Rouge Foreign Minister Ieng Sary, former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan, and  former Deputy Secretary Nuon Chea, during the trial of
Cambodian military officials line up in front the top leaders of Khmer Rouge portraits, from right, former Khmer Rouge Foreign Minister Ieng Sary, former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan, and former Deputy Secretary Nuon Chea, during the trial of
Kong SothanarithVOA Khmer

Khmer Rouge cadre were ordered to “clear” the capital of anyone related to the US-backed Lon Nol regime of the 1970s, a witness told the tribunal Wednesday.

Pean Khean, 62, a former minister of commerce for the Khmer Rouge, said soldiers and civil servants of the Lon Nol government were considered “enemies.”

He is testifying in the UN-backed trial of Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary, three Khmer Rouge leaders accused of atrocity crimes, including genocide, for acts committed by the regime under their leadership.

“Those who were considered enemies would be destroyed when they were arrested,” he said. “They were all to be cleared, and after them, the CIA from Phnom Penh had to be cleared too.”

Pean Khean said he had joined the movement in 1966, at the age of 16, “to liberate” Cambodia.

In final testimony Wednesay, Pol Pot’s nephew, Saloth Ban, said the Khmer Rouge had wanted to “liberate the country from American imperialism.”

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US Will Continue Supporting Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Diplomat Saysi
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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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