Former UN secretary-general Boutros Boutros-Ghali finished his official visit in Cambodia as head of the International Francophone Organization by meeting Wednesday with former Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan.
Boutros-Ghali was tight-lipped about the conversation he had with the defector.
An aide to Khieu Samphan said Boutros-Ghali had been a classmate of Khieu Samphan’s when both were studying in France, and “had a lot to catch up on.” Boutros-Ghali, however, denied the friendship, claiming he first met the leader in 1992.
The purpose of the meeting with Khieu Samphan, Boutros-Ghali said, was an “academic” one. He maintains the UN should not interfere with the decision of whether to try Khmer Rouge defectors for crimes against humanity, saying it’s an issue for the Cambodian government.