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Khmer Rouge Suspect Retires as Commune Chief

Im Chaem, a former Khmer Rouge commander, holds her grandson at her home in Anlong Veng district, in Cambodia's Oddar Meanchey province, where she a former first deputy commune chief.

The local government has asked a former Khmer Rouge leader and suspect at the UN-backed tribunal to leave her post in local government.

Im Chaem, who was a former Khmer Rouge district chief and is named as an atrocity crimes suspect in Case 004 at the court, says she was asked to retire her post as commune chief for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party in Oddar Meanchey province.

Speaking to VOA Khmer by phone Tuesday, Im Chaem, who is 66, said it was not the court allegations but old age that were behind the request. Im Chaem did not say who had asked her to retire, but she said her name was withdrawn from a candidate’s list for commune lections in June.

“I myself know that I am old,” she said. “Now I’ll do nothing but farming to feed myself and support myself.”

International prosecutors at the criminal court have implicated her in Khmer Rouge purges and deaths at a security center in the Northwest Zone, but the fates of cases 003 and 004 at the court remain in doubt.

Yim Phanna, district chief of Anlong Veng, said Im Chaem must retire by law. “She’s old, and she’s retired,” he said.