Khieu Samphan’s Wife Accused of Perjury

The prosecution at the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Tuesday accused former head of state Khieu Samphan’s wife, So Socheat, of lying on the witness stand during her two-day testimony.

While Ms. Socheat had painted a picture in her testimony on Monday of her husband as a loving family man who lived a very basic lifestyle, Senior Assistant Prosecutor Keith Raynor called into question her credibility, saying she had met with another witness ahead of the trial and also “concocted” evidence.

“My suggestion to you is this,” Mr. Raynor said. “That you and your husband have got together and concocted evidence about a supposed exodus from K-3 by senior leaders in a deliberate, dishonest and cynical attempt to lie to this Chamber and to mislead each one of these judges.”

In her testimony on Monday, Ms. Socheat told the court that senior leaders had left the K-3 compound in Phnom Penh, where many of them lived and worked, leaving her and Khieu Samphan mostly alone—a story Mr. Raynor said she and her husband had made up—the implication being that he was not high-ranking enough to go with them.

“We stayed for a while at K-1 then all together came to K-3. All of us came to K-3, namely Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and the spouses came along as well. There were other people who came along too…. So all of them came to stay at K-3 all together and after a while, they left. That is my re­sponse,” Ms. Socheat said Tuesday.

During questioning of Ms. Socheat, who Mr. Raynor described as “probably one of the five most important witnesses in this case,” he asked her about a meeting she had with Sa Siek, a witness who took the stand last year.

Mr. Raynor said Ms. Socheat met Ms. Siek in 2010 and asked her about certain places that Khieu Samphan might have visited.

In her testimony in August, Ms. Siek said Ms. Socheat had asked her whether or not Khieu Samphan had visited the Ministry of Propaganda and Prek Kdam bridge.

In court on Tuesday, Ms. Socheat denied having done that and said her reason for going to speak to Ms. Siek was because they had known each other after attending the same wedding in Battambang province’s Samlot district.

Mr. Raynor also asked her about the content of visits with her husband since his detention. In her response, Ms. Socheat denied committing perjury, saying: “I do not lie to the court…. If your honors don’t believe in my statement, then there is no need for me to testify here anymore.”

Cross-examination of Ms. Socheat continues today.

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