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DC-Cam Official Criticizes KR Tribunal For Lack Of Witnesses Protection

The Documentation Center of Cambodia officer in charge of the Khmer Rouge affairs Tuesday is concerned about the lack of witnesses protection from the Khmer Rouge Tribunal created by the Cambodian government and the U.N., and failure to provide knowledge about their roles in this trial.

Documentation Center of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge working group's director Suor Bun Sou says that among 5 witnesses whom he interviewed, two of them were unavailable.

The witnesses' family members told him that, they went to Phnom Penh to work as construction workers, and as peddicab drivers. Those family members failed to tell him where those witnesses stayed and how they can be reached.

Two witnesses for the Extraordinary Chambers for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal whom Mr. Suor Bun Sou thinks are hiding were former officials who arrested the victims, and former keeper of the lists of detainees at Tuol Sleng prison.

Mr. Bun Suor declines to give the names of these witnesses. Saying only that these two people knew about Tuol Sleng's torture at that time.

Mr. Suor Bun gives the reason behind the hiding that there is a lack of witnesses' protection, and that those witnesses are not sure whether or not they would become suspects or charged for those crimes.

Former Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Kampuchea Pen Sovan wants Cambodian in high positions in the government to be witnesses, including Chief Judge of the Supreme Court Dith Munty, and government spokesman and Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith. Mr. Khieu Kanharith says that the court will decide who will be witnesses.