Victim’s Father Says Chhouk Rin Is Guilty

On the eve of Chhouk Rin’s final ap­peal, Jean-Claude Braquet, whose son, Jean-Michel, was killed following the 1994 Kampot prov­ince train ambush, urged the Su­preme Court to imprison the for­mer Khmer Rouge commander for his role in the death of his son.

In an interview on Tuesday, Bra­quet, a French national, ac­cused Chhouk Rin of hatching the idea to attack the train.

He also accused Chhouk Rin of handing over the three Western backpackers to former rebel commander Nuon Paet in order to pro­voke the RCAF into attacking Phnom Voar, where the men were being held.

Chhouk Rin did this to claim the land after RCAF troops had forced Nuon Paet to flee, he alleged.

Chhouk Rin “wanted to take Phnom Voar because he had a big project there,” Braquet said. After the hostages were killed, Chhouk Rin “sold the land and nobody noticed,” he charged.

Chhouk Rin, whose appeal is scheduled for today, did not answer repeated phone calls Tues­­day.

Although the three hostages were Nuon Paet’s responsibility after the attack, Nuon Paet “didn’t understand he was being manipulated,” Braquet said.

“Chhouk Rin and [former re­gion­al rebel commander] Sam Bith are both responsible for the deaths from the start,” he said.

Braquet added that he believed RCAF forces allowed the hijacking to take place, after Chhouk Rin had unofficially aligned himself with the government in 1991.

“When the train left Phnom Penh, there was a signal given [from] Phnom Penh,” Braquet said, adding that military vehicles were present at the scene of the hi­jacking and took away animals looted from the train, he alleged.

France, Australia and Britain “never wanted to dig deeply” into the truth about the hostage crisis, for fear that they would damage their relations with the Cam­bo­di­an government, Braquet said.

“I’m waiting for confirmation that Chhouk Rin will be put in jail,” Braquet said.

“For the last 10 years I’ve been waiting for that, and 10 years is a very long time,” he said.


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