Chhouk Rin’s wife Yem Sav received a warrant for her ailing husband’s arrest Tuesday, she said by telephone Wednesday from Kampot province.
The former Khmer Rouge commander, convicted for his role in the deaths of three Western backpackers and 13 Cambodians following a 1994 Kampot province train hijacking, has not seen the warrant, which was delivered by Kep municipal authorities, she said.
“He went to Phnom Penh to buy medicine and has not come back yet,” Yem Sav said. “I am worried. I cannot say if he has fled or not.”
On Tuesday, however, Yem Sav said that Chhouk Rin was in Phnom Voar, watching cock fights.
Referring to a short stint that her husband spent in jail in 2000 before he was acquitted for his role in the deaths by Phnom Penh Municipal Court in July of that year, Yem Sav said: “He went to prison before and it is hard to be imprisoned.”
That acquittal was later overturned, and the Supreme Court on Feb 16 upheld Chhouk Rin’s conviction and ordered him to be arrested and imprisoned for life.
Chhouk Rin told Agence France-Presse earlier this week that he will not make it easy for police to arrest him.
“If police meet me, they can arrest me, but if they can’t see me, they can’t arrest me,” he told AFP.
Chhouk Rin wrote a letter appealing to King Norodom Sihamoni to pardon him, according to a copy of a letter obtained Tuesday.
In the letter, dated Feb 17, Chhouk Rin called the Supreme Court’s decision an injustice.
“I did not attack the train and kill the three Westerners,” Chhouk Rin wrote. “Only King Norodom Sihamoni can find justice for me.
“There are killers [of the Westerners] who are now still alive and should have been brought for questioning to prove if I was involved,” he added. “If the court [had] clear, new evidence and witnesses, I would not be afraid to accept the penalty.”