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Witnesses Leave for US 'Freedom Fighter' Trial

A delegation of 14 witnesses left Phnom Penh Thursday to attend the US trial of Cambodian Freedom Fighter president Chhun Yasith, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

The delegation was representing the country of Cambodia as a victim in a terrorist attack, said Lt. Gen. Khieu Sopheak.

"We sent 14 people, including eye-witnesses and police officials," he said.

Chhun Yasith, 50, was indicted in June 2005 on charges related to November 2000 violence involving government forces in Phnom Penh. He was also charged with his wife, Pech Sras, 41, with tax fraud.

The violence, which authorities later called a coup attempt and terrorist attack, involved a squad of 50 men armed with rockets, grenades and assault rifles.

The fighting left at least four dead and 14 wounded and led to a round-up of 64 suspected CFF members in Cambodia.

Chhun Yasith was officially charged with "conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, conspiracy to damage or destroy property in a foreign country and engaging in a military expedition against a nation with whom the United States is at peace," the US Department of Justice said in a statement at the time of his arrest.

He faces life in prison for the 2000 attack and up to 29 years for tax fraud.