« | »

‘Urbane’ Khmer Rouge Leader Is Arrested

From the New York Times:

Khmer Rouge Leader Is Arrested


PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, Nov. 19 — The former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan was taken from a hospital here and arrested today, the last of five top leaders targeted by prosecutors in advance of trials expected to begin next year.

An urbane, French-educated leftist intellectual, Khieu Samphan, 76, had been living quietly in a remote town that was once a stronghold of the Khmer Rouge regime. The Khmer Rouge government was responsible for the deaths of 1.7 million people from torture, executions, starvation and the exhaustion of forced labor in the years between 1975 and 1979.

Khieu Samphan was brought to a hospital in Phnom Penh, the capital, last Wednesday after suffering an apparent stroke. Witnesses said that today he was supported on both sides by the officers who escorted him to a police car after being arrested.

The special international tribunal, which has been set up with the assistance of the United Nations to bring the Khmer Rouge leadership to justice, said in a statement: “An initial appearance will be held today during which he will be informed of the charges which have been brought against him.”

He was to join three other members of the Khmer Rouge central committee as well as the commandant of Tuol Sleng prison, the most notorious torture house of the Khmer Rouge regime, in a detention facility at the tribunal’s headquarters on the outskirts of Phnom Penh…

A close confidant of Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge leader who died in 1998, since their student days in France, Khieu Samphan has denied responsibility for the Khmer Rouge’s acts, saying he only learned of the atrocities committed by his regime when he saw a documentary about Tuol Sleng in 2003.

“It is normal that those who have lost their families, that they — what to say — feel some resentment,” he said in 1998 after surrendering. He had lived for a decade as a guerrilla leader following the ouster of the Khmer Rouge regime. But he added: “’Let bygones be bygones’ is the best solution for our country, because it is the only way to reach national reconciliation. It is the sine qua non condition for peace and stability in our country.”

Kheiu Samphan has selected another associate from his student days to be his lawyer. Jacques Verges, a French lawyer, made a name defending men accused of the most barbaric crimes. Mr. Verges defended the Venezuelan terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal, the confessed serial killer Charles G. Sobhraj and the former Nazi Gestapo leader Klaus Barbie.

“He and I used to attend meetings of student committees against colonialism,” Khieu Samphan told the Associated Press in an interview in 2004…

In a book published last week, Khieu Samphan describes the Khmer Rouge regime as a popular uprising against repression and inequality, and says its atrocities were carried out by brutal and uneducated lower ranking cadre.

“There was no policy of starving people,” he writes in the 157-page book, titled “Reflection on Cambodian History Up to the Era of Democratic Kampuchea,” referring to the country’s name under Khmer Rouge rule. “Nor was there any direction set out for carrying out mass killings. There was always close consideration of the people’s well-being.”

But he writes that “coercion was needed” in order to make the population work hard in the face of food shortages

Kieu Samphan, prime minister of the “Democtratic Kampuchea” arrives in Beijing, 19 August 1975, for a state visit in China.

You see, people were killed for their own good. It was ever thus, was it not?

And certainly this part runs true to form:

An urbane, French-educated leftist intellectual…

It is all too telling what these kind of people will do once they get absolute power. Which is something to bear in mind with a Hillary Clinton Presidency looming.

But when will the Vietnamese government go on trial? And the Chinese? The Soviets?

The Castro Regime?

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, November 19th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

No Responses to “‘Urbane’ Khmer Rouge Leader Is Arrested”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »