Pailin’s Deputy Municipal Governor Ieng Vuth, the son of two former leaders of Democratic Kampuchea, Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith, criticized media speculation over potential defendants at the Khmer Rouge tribunal following publication of an article fingering both of his parents.
Ieng Vuth also said the long-awaited Khmer Rouge tribunal would deliver little more than victor’s justice.
“Justice is with the one who is strong,” Ieng Vuth said by telephone from Pailin on Monday.
“The winner, the stronger one, is always right,” he said, adding, “No one is always right and no one is always wrong.”
Ieng Vuth said he was upset that Rasmei Kampuchea Daily, Cambodia’s largest newspaper, on Friday published front-page photographs of five former senior Khmer Rouge officials even though tribunal officials have yet to make public the names of any of their five suspects.
Photographs of Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith were included with the story titled “Five Khmer Rouge Leaders were Preliminarily Charged.” Ieng Sary was the regime’s minister of foreign affairs, and his wife, Ieng Thirith, served as minister of social affairs.
Ieng Vuth said that Cambodians at this time, including newspaper staffers, should not forsake the solidarity and unity of the country.
“The important thing is that we Khmers should care about what benefits Khmers,” he said.
Khmer Rouge tribunal co-Prosecutor Robert Petit also criticized the publication of the photos.
“I think it’s irresponsible to speculate. It doesn’t do anything constructive for anyone, especially the victims,” he said.
Photographs of Khieu Samphan, Nuon Chea and Duch were also included in the newspaper article.
Khieu Samphan was the head of state for Democratic Kampuchea. Nuon Chea, known as Brother Number 2, was the movement’s chief ideologue, and Duch, whose real name is Kaing Khek Iev, was chief of the notorious S-21 prison.
Khieu Samphan’s wife, Sour Socheat, said Monday that Khieu Samphan was not available to speak on the phone. She declined to comment further.
Nuon Chea speculated last week that he was among the five suspects, along with Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary and Duch.
Pen Samithy, editor-in-chief of Rasmei Kampuchea, said the story did not identify the five as suspects and that their photos were included because they are surviving Khmer Rouge leaders.
“The Khmer Rouge must be tried to find justice for the victims,” he added.