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.)