Lawyer Gets Notice of Chhouk Rin Sentence

Official notification of the life sentence handed down to former Khmer Rouge commander Chhouk Rin by the Phnom Penh Appeals Court in September has finally been delivered, the attorney for the former rebel said on Wednesday.

Chhouk Rin, however, will remain free, and legal challenges to the hefty prison term will not be­gin until a copy of the court order has been delivered to his client at the former rebel base of Phnom Voar in Kampot province, lawyer Puth Theavy said.

“Yesterday, I received the verdict at my house. But I have not yet signed for receiving it or sent it back to the Appeals Court,” Puth Theavy said.

“Chhouk Rin has not received it yet…. I will not send it to him. It is the court’s responsibility to send to my client,” he said.

Puth Theavy said he could not begin his campaign to overturn Chhouk Rin’s jail sentence until he was notified by his client.

Chhouk Rin was not present during the high-profile court hearing that found him guilty of terrorism for his part in the 1994 train attack during which 13 Cambodians were killed and three Westerners—Australian David Wilson, 29, Briton Mark Slater, 28, and Frenchman Jean-Michel Braquet, 27—were taken hostage and later executed.

Reportedly in hiding at his former rebel base, Chhouk Rin has denied any part in the killings and has vowed to fight the verdict.

Chhouk Rin could not be reached for comment Wednes­day, but his close friend Ouch Nuon said he expects the court document to arrives soon.

“As soon as we receive it, we will write a letter to transfer the right to the lawyer to complain against the verdict,” Ouch Nuon said.

Ouch Nuon said a court official will have no trouble trying to de­liver the verdict to Phnom Voar.

Two other former Khmer Rouge officers—Sam Bith and Nuon Paet—have been jailed in connection with the train attack.

 

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