ECCC Reparations

This blog is designed to serve as a repository of analyses, news reports and press releases related to the issue of RERAPATIONS within the framework of the Extraordinary Chambers in Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), a.k.a. the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Khmer Rouge ex-foreign minister detained

Khmer Rouge ex-foreign minister detained
Khmer Rouge dissident leader Ieng Sary gestures during a press conference at Division 450, Phnom Malai, northwestern Cambodia, in this Sept. 9, 1996 file photo. Police entered the home of the former foreign minister of the communist Khmer Rouge regime, Ieng Sary, early Monday, Nov. 12, 2007 in an apparent move to arrest him for trial before Cambodia's U.N.-backed genocide tribunal, witnesses said. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Associated Press Writer / November 11, 2007
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia --Police detained the ex-foreign minister of the brutal 1970s Khmer Rouge regime and his wife Monday and brought them to Cambodia's U.N.-backed genocide tribunal Monday to face charges, an official said.

more stories like thisIeng Sary and his wife, Ieng Thirith, are both accused of involvement in the slayings of political opponents during the 1975-79 radical communist regime, according to documents from prosecutors seen by The Associated Press. Ieng Thirith served as the regime's minister for social affairs.

Police detained the couple at their Phnom Penh residence at dawn. Officers later brought them to tribunal offices, where they were to make an initial appearance before the judges later Monday, said tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath. He did not elaborate on the charges they would face.

The radical policies of the Khmer Rouge blamed for the deaths of some 1.7 million people from starvation, disease, overwork and execution. None of the group's leaders have faced trial yet.

Both are accused of involvement in the slayings of political opponents, according to documents from prosecutors seen by The Associated Press.

The arrests of Ieng Sary and his wife had been widely anticipated, as they were believed to be two of five unnamed suspects earlier listed by tribunal prosecutors. Two others have already been taken into custody.

Ieng Sary, thought to be 77, was not available for comment. But like other surviving Khmer Rouge leaders, he has repeatedly denied responsibility for any crimes.

The tribunal was created last year after seven years of contentious negotiations between the United Nations and Cambodia. Critics have warned that the aging suspects could die before ever seeing a courtroom.

Ieng Sary served as a deputy prime minister as well as foreign minister in the Khmer Rouge regime.

Ieng Sary, "promoted, instigated, facilitated, encouraged and/or condoned the perpetration of the crimes" when the Khmer Rouge held power, according to a July 18 filing by the prosecutors to the tribunal's judges, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press.

It said there was evidence of Ieng Sary's participation in crimes included planning, directing and coordinating the Khmer Rouge "policies of forcible transfer, forced labor and unlawful killings."

"I have done nothing wrong," Ieng Sary told The Associated Press in October in Bangkok, Thailand, where he was visiting for a medical checkup.

"I am a gentle person. I believe in good deeds. I even made good deeds to save several people's lives (during the regime). But let them (the tribunal) find what the truth is," he said without elaborating.

The alleged crimes of his wife, Ieng Thirith, who is believed to be 75, included her participation in "planning, direction, coordination and ordering of widespread purges ... and unlawful killing or murder of staff members from within the Ministry of Social Affairs," the prosecutors' filing said.

Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot died in 1998, and his former military chief, Ta Mok, died in 2006 in government custody.

Nuon Chea, the former Khmer Rouge ideologist, and Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, who headed the Khmer Rouge S-21 torture center, were detained earlier this year on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.


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