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Khieu Samphan Not a Political Leader, Witness Tells Tribunal

Cambodia Khmer Rouge Leader Khieu Samphan.
Cambodia Khmer Rouge Leader Khieu Samphan.
PHNOM PENH - A former Khmer Rouge commander gave testimony at the UN-backed tribunal Monday, claiming defendant Khieu Samphan had little political leadership in the regime.

Chhouk Rin, 60, who is serving a life sentence for killing three Western backpackers in 1994, took the stand in defense of Khieu Samphan, the former head of state for the Khmer Rouge.

“He was not a political leader,” Chhouk Rin told the court.

Khieu Samphan is on trial for atrocity crimes, including genocide, alongside Nuon Chea, the regime’s chief ideologue.

Chhouk Rin, who refused to answer some questions Monday, told the court that Nuon Chea was the one living leader most responsible for the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge.