KRT Civil Party Grilled Over Various Claims

A civil party at the Khmer Rouge tribunal was on Friday accused of lying about the length of time he said he was incarcerated in Kraing Ta Chan prison, while discrepancies between his evidence and earlier interviews he had given were also raised.

Victor Koppe, international defense lawyer for Nuon Chea, disputed Soy Sen’s claim that he was locked up in the notorious Takeo prison during the Democratic Kampuchea period. 

“I put it to you that if you were detained at Kraing Ta Chan at all, it was before 1975, and that you were released and never were after liberation in 1975 in that camp, is that correct?” Mr. Koppe asked, a suggestion Mr. Sen refuted.

“That is not correct, I escaped from the security office in 1979,” he replied.

The civil party denied that he witnessed his father’s murder, despite claiming in previous interviews that he had watched from the top of a tamarind tree as his father was bludgeoned to death with an ax by prison guards.

“I did not see this execution but I went there to collect his sarong and hat later, but the hat was taken by the deputy chief of the prison,” said Mr. Sen.

The morning’s proceedings were slowed by frequent objections from prosecutors and civil party lawyers to Mr. Koppe’s line of questioning, claiming it was repetitive, opinionated and speculative.

Kong Sam Onn, national defense lawyer for Khieu Samphan, questioned Mr. Sen in the afternoon over a story he recounted Wednesday, in which he claimed to have witnessed two women being raped with firearms.

The civil party snapped after Mr. Sam Onn repeatedly quizzed him over the sequence of events, saying the court could bring the prison guard allegedly responsible, who lives near Mr. Sen’s Tram Kak district home, to the court for questioning.

“If you don’t believe me call that person to confront me. That person is still living today,” said Mr. Sen.

A visibly weary Mr. Sen recalled an occasion he saw Ta Mok—who he referred to by another alias “Ta 15”—at Kraing Ta Chan as the infamous Southwest Zone chief met with prison chief Ta An, add­ing that he “did not dare look him in the eye.”

Proceedings continue Monday with the testimony of expert witness Elizabeth Becker, a journalist and author of “When The War Was Over.”

[email protected]

Related Stories

Latest News

The Weekly DispatchA new weekly newsletter from The Cambodia Daily delivering news, analysis and opinion to your inbox. Published every Friday at 11:30am. Sign up today.