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Witness Describes Current Minister’s Role in Khmer Rouge

Cambodian Finance Minister Keat Chhon claps during the ceremony to start trading at the Cambodia Securities Exchange in Phnom Penh.

The current finance minister, Keat Chhon, was a member of the Khmer Rouge’s foreign affairs department, a witness told the UN-backed tribunal Monday.

Salot Ban, the nephew of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, said Keat Chhon was a subordinate of Ieng Sary, the former foreign affairs minister of the regime, who is currently on trial for atrocity crimes.

Keat Chhon is among six senior government officials who have refused to appear before the tribunal.

Critics say this is evidence of governmental interference in the court’s affairs, but government officials say the appearance of top officials at trial would bias the court.

Salot Ban told court prosecutors Monday that Keat Chhon was a member of foreign delegations alongside other subordinates of Ieng Sary, though he could not recall exact dates.