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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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Defense Teams Leave Khmer Rouge Tribunal Hearingi
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18 October 2014
Defense lawyers for Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan boycotted an opening hearing for the two men on Friday, leaving the courtroom and putting the second and final phase of the trial for the two men in limbo. Nuon Chea’s team has asked for a disqualification of four judges, while Khieu Samphan’s team has asked for an appeal on an initial judgment against him. Neither request has yet been heard, but tribunal officials say they will be. It remains unclear what will happen next with the hearing. (Kong Sothanarith, Phnom Penh)

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