Reporter Says KR Put ‘Best Foot Forward’ During Visit

An American journalist who traveled to Cambodia in 1978 told the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Tuesday that he probably did not witness the realities of life under Pol Pot during his two-week visit.

Richard Dudman, 96, formerly of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, was invited to tour Democratic Kampuchea with journalist Elizabeth Becker and Marxist academic Malcolm Caldwell.

Appearing via video link from the U.S., Mr. Dudman struggled during the two-hour hearing to recall specific events from the trip—during which Mr. Caldwell was murdered—but said cooperatives the group visited were likely not representative of the situation across the country.

“I couldn’t be sure they were representative; I suspected they were putting their best foot forward,” he said.

A recording of Mr. Dudman and Ms. Becker’s meeting with Pol Pot was also played, in which the Khmer Rouge leader was heard predicting an imminent Soviet-backed Vietnamese invasion.

Mr. Dudman’s testimony at the trial of former regime leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan is due to conclude Wednesday.

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