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Vietnam Dismisses Khieu Samphan's Claims

A Vietnamese Embassy official Wednesday rejected the views of Khieu Samphan, former nominal head of the Khmer Rouge, who claimed Cambodia's eastern neighbor would have taken over Cambodia in 1975 if the regime had not protected the country.

Trinh Ba Kim, first secretary of the Vietnamese mission in Phnom Penh, said Khieu Samphan's claims, made to VOA Khmer earlier this week, were untrue.

Former Khmer Rouge leaders have routinely used the Vietnamese as scapegoats, and, when the regime began its spiraling self destruction, many cadre were accused of being Vietnamese agents. They were then tortured and killed.

Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith called Khieu Samphan an intellectual who should not have said such things.