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Four Guilty, One Released in Deminer Killing

Four former Khmer Rouge soldiers were sentenced up to 20 years in prison and one man was released Tuesday, following a murder trial for the death of a British deminer and his interpreter in 1996.

Christopher Howes and Hun Huoth were shot and killed in Anlong Veng following their abduction with other deminers from a site near Angkor Wat in March 1996.

Chiep Cheth, 33, was released Tuesday, when Phnom Penh Municipal Court announced a non-guilty verdict for his role in the killings. Chiep Cheth had said in his defense he had led a group of Khmer Rouge soldiers to the site where Howes and others were demining. Had he disobeyed, he said, he would have been killed.

The soldiers, who were under the command of notorious Khmer Rouge guerrilla Ta Mok, were found guilty Tuesday, following their one-day trial Oct. 3.

Khem Nguon, 58, a former commander in Anlong Veng, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, along with his subordinate, Loch Mao, 56, and his driver, Puth Lim, 57. Subordinate Sin Dorn, 52, was given 10 years in prison.