Ieng Sary, whose name was mentioned more than any other as the Khmer Rouge tribunal draft law passed through the National Assembly and Senate, said Wednesday he has not been following the debate.
Contacted by telephone at his Phnom Penh home, the man generally considered to be Brother No 3 during the Khmer Rouge regime was asked whether he supported the tribunal draft law passed by both bodies of the legislature and now awaiting approval by the Constitutional Council.
“I have not yet seen it,” Ieng Sary said. “And I have not listened to or watched [the hearings]. So it is hard for me to say whether I support it or not.”
“It depends on the government. I will follow what the government decides,” he said. He did not answer further questions.
What the government will decide remains in question. Several senators during their recent debate insisted that Ieng Sary should be tried.
Prime Minister Hun Sen has repeatedly said that bringing Ieng Sary to trial would upset the nation’s stability.
“There will be war again,” said Hun Sen, who bargained with Ieng Sary for a Khmer Rouge surrender in 1996. Two years later, Ieng Sary was granted amnesty by King Norodom Sihanouk for a 1979 conviction in which he was sentenced to death in absentia.
The prime minister leaves Friday for the former Khmer Rouge stronghold of Anlong Veng. He said he is making the trip to assure former lower-level Khmer Rouge members that they will not face prosecution.