Ieng Sary Should Be Tried, Leuprecht Says

Former Khmer Rouge Foreign Minister Ieng Sary should be brought before a war crimes tr­ibu­­nal if the court is to have any cred­­ibility, the UN’s top human rights­ monitor for Cambodia has said.

“My personal view is that if the trial is limited to Ta Mok and Duch, it will not be sufficient,” Pe­ter Leuprecht, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’­ special representative for Cambo­dia said upon his arrival to Cam­bodia Friday.

Khmer Rouge general Ta Mok and Duch, the former head of Tuol Sleng prison, are the only cadre in government custody awaiting a Khmer Rouge trial.

“When I say who will be tried, of course, Ieng Sary is one of those who comes to one’s mind,” Leuprecht said.

Ieng Sary, known as “Brother Number Three,” was convicted in absentia by a Vietnamese-led trial in 1979, but won a reluctant am­nes­­ty from King Norodom Si­hanouk for that conviction after he led a mass defection of Khmer Rouge soldiers in 1996 that effectively crippled the movement.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has ar­gued­­­ that bringing Ieng Sary be­fore the tribunal will lead to war again.

But the consequences of not trying Ieng Sary could be worse, Leuprecht said. “If they can’t solve this problem, it will create a lot of unrest,” he said.

(Add­itional reporting by Kyodo News.)

 

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