Survivor Defends Inconsistent Testimony About KR Prison

A woman who was detained at the Au Kanseng Security Center in Ratanakkiri province during the Pol Pot regime continued testifying at the Khmer Rouge tribunal Monday morning, answering questions from defense lawyers about inconsistencies in her description of conditions at the prison.

Ms. Chandy explained that due to her daily struggle to survive, she had not paid attention to details such as the exact locations of the prison buildings and the distances between them during her detention at Au Kanseng in 1977 and 1978.

“My concern at the time was simply that if I woke up in the morning then I knew I was still alive. I did not think of distances or anything else,” she said.

Nonetheless, she stressed that she was confident in her description of a mass grave containing between 10 and 20 female Jarai prisoners, explaining that she

had identified the indigenous women by the distinctive design of their skirts and the colors of their clothing—just as tribunal personnel can be recognized by their robes.

“Here you can see that judges wear red robes, and the other side of the court are wearing purple robes, so I could recognize them from their clothing,” Ms. Chandy said.

On Thursday, Ms. Chandy recalled a guard named Ta Auy using a piece of sharp bamboo from the kitchen building wall to cut out a female detainee’s gallbladder, an act her former husband Phan Thol also described in his testimony the day before, although he named the perpetrator as a man called Ngob.

Under questioning Monday, however, Ms. Chandy admitted that she had not actually witnessed the act, but rather overheard Ta Auy bragging about eating gallbladders to his fellow guards in the kitchen building.

Following the conclusion of Ms. Chandy’s testimony, the Trial Chamber heard oral submissions on documents put forward by the two defense teams relating to expert witness Alex Hinton, who is due to appear before the court on March 14.

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