Relatives of Cadres Reflect on KR Tribunal

anlong veng district, Oddar Meanchey province – She could be any farmer in the village, hard at work milling rice as a visitor approaches. The stocky woman —the second daughter of the in­famous Khmer Rouge commander Ta Mok—dumps milled rice into a cart before sitting down outside the house of her daughter-in-law, who sells everyday household goods.

Preak Hienh, 45, said she was eager for a trial for her father, reputed to be among the most merciless of Khmer Rouge leaders. Ta Mok has been in prison for almost three years awaiting legal proceedings to begin.

“I would like for the government to try my father as soon as possible,” she said, adding that her other three sisters felt the same way.

“We miss him and some of my kids ask me about him. I haven’t visited since he went to jail.

“We want to know whether he made a mistake. If there is a trial we can understand if he is a good or bad man. If I have money, I will go to visit him.”

Preak Hienh said her five children studied languages and driving, and were not preoccupied with the trial. She denied that her father was involved in the death of high-ranking Khmer Rouge official Son Sen, whose killing in 1997 led to the arrest and show trial of Pol Pot by Khmer Rouge forces.

The oldest son of Khieu Sam­phan, another former top Khmer Rouge official, also lives in Anlong Veng. Khieu Dom, 29, said he did not worry about whether his father goes to trial or not.

“It is up to the government and people here. If he made a mistake, go ahead and have a trial,” Khieu Dom said. “I am not worried at all about that.

Khieu Dom recently moved from Pailin, and is now a farmer. “I don’t think I would be willing to be a politician,” Khieu Dom said. “I want to be a businessman, where Khieu Sam­phan, president of Democratic Kampuchea during the Khmer Rouge regime, and his three daughters still live. He

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