Case 002/02

On 15 September 2010, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan (together with Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith) were indicted on charges of crimes against humanity, genocide and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 in what is referred as Case 002 before the ECCC. The charges against them are specified in the Closing Order of Case 002. As Ieng Thirith was found unfit to stand trial, and Ieng Sary died on 14 March 2013, the two remaining defendants in Case 002 are Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea.

In September 2011, the Trial Chamber decided to separate (sever) the charges in the Case 002 Closing Order into a series of smaller trials. The first trial in Case 002, referred to as Case 002/01 commenced on 21 November 2011, and on 7 August 2014 Nuon and Khieu Samphan was found guilty of crimes againgst humanity and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Case 002/02 refers to the second trial against Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea where additional charges from the Closing Order in Case 002 will be heard. In a decision on 4 April 2014, the Trial Chamber decided that the following alleged crime sites and factual allegations will form the basis for Case 002/02:
•    Genocide against the Cham and the Vietnamese (excluding crimes committed by the Revolutionary Army of Kampuchea on Vietnamese territory);
•    Forced marriages and rape (nationwide);
•    Internal purges;
•    S-21 Security Centre; Kraing Ta Chan Security Centre, Au Kanseng Security Centre and Phnom Kraol Security Centre;
•    1st January Dam Worksite; Kampong Chhnang Airport Construction site, Trapeang Thma Dam Worksite;
•    Tram Kok Cooperative;
•    Treatment of Buddhists (limited to Tram Kok Cooperatives); and
•    Targeting of former Khmer Republic Officials (implementation limited to Tram Kok Cooperatives, 1st January Dam Worksite, S-21 Security Centre and Kraing Ta Chan Security Centre)

Trial hearings in Case 002/02 commenced on 17 October 2014, and the presentation of evidence started on 8 January 2015.

Indicted Person

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Witnesses, experts and Civil Parties who have appeared in Case 002. Click on photo for larger version.

Mrs. NUON Narom Mrs. NUON Narom
Mr. NHIP Horl Mr. NHIP Horl
Ms. YI Laisov Ms. YI Laisov
Mr. TAK Boy Mr. TAK Boy
Mr. CHHUM Seng Mr. CHHUM Seng
Mr. CHHIT Yoeuk Mr. CHHIT Yoeuk
LAT Suoy LAT Suoy
LAT Suoy, 55, was a soldier in Battalion 513 of Sector 5. He served under Ta Nak as a guard at the Trapeang Thma Dam Worksite from late 1976, tasked with patrolling and controlling the dam. In his testimony, the witness talked about how workers that called to have problems with night vision were tested at the worksite. He also explained the tribunal how food rations were distributed, as well as the insufficient amount of proper drinkable water. Moreover, the witness spoke about the arrival of SW zone cadres to TTD and the takeover of the management of the dam by them. Additionally, LAT explained how North-West zone soldiers started to transport and hide weapons in the jungle, in order to defend themselves from the arrival of South-West zone soldiers. According to him, health and working conditions at the worksite were poor.
Kan Thorl Kan Thorl

Mr. KAN Thorl, 57, was a deputy platoon chief at the Trapeang Thma Dam Worksite. He started to work at the dam on February 1977. Prior to that he was part of a mobile unit and was considered as a base person. In his testimony, the witness stated that at the beginning he had 100 people under his responsibility, but this number was reduced up to 70 due to a series of relocations or people that felt sick and were taken to the hospital. KAN stated that the workforce at the dam was composed of 15,000 workers, most of them from sector 15. The witness talked about the living and working conditions at the dam, as well as the reduction of food rations when workers didn’t achieved their daily quotas for removing soil. He also told the Tribunal about the lack of medical treatment for those who fell sick. He also said that he was afraid of being taken away and killed, as he heard from other people at the worksite. According to him, those Vietnamese identified as such during the liberation of PP were taken away and executed.

Mr. OM Chy Mr. OM Chy

Mr. Om Chy, 62 or 63, told he was the head of a 500-person mobile unit at the 1st January Dam Worksite. He described the hard work conditions at the worksite and stated that no one was working voluntarily. According to Om Chy, if someone was inactive or lazy, he/she would have been reeducated. He also stated that anyone opposing rules was seen as enemy. Om chy stated that he heard people were arrested and taken to the security center Bagota.  He told anyone who was arrested never appeared again. The witness stated that in 1977 there was a plan to purge people, but he was not at the village at the time. The witness told he was relocated to work in other commune 20 km away from the previous village. He explained that when he came back his neighbor had disappeared. He also heard that 5 families had been purged. Mr. Chy also described that marriages were arranged according to the workers’ biographies.

Ms. Khin Vat Ms. Khin Vat

Madame Khin Vat, 65, testified that she started working at the Kampong Chhnang Airport Worksite after her husband disappeared for perceived links to Vietnam.  The witness stated that she was formally a member of military unit 502, and she was in charge of the women’s unit, which involved taking care of children, and doing farming.  She described during her testimony that even the sick had to work, and she estimated that 5-10 people were sick every day in her unit. She also testified that around 5 workers died from illness- fatigue, and malaria. She described the visit of Chinese guests at the worksite.  She also heard that senior leaders visited the worksite.  Other people at the worksite told her that specifically Khie Samphan better known as the second Uncle visited the airport. The witness told that she fled the Kampong Chhnang worksite in 1979, and she believes that she went to the worksite in mid-1978

Mr. Mam Soeurm Mr. Mam Soeurm

MAM Soeurm, 59, was born in Phnom Penh Province. He gave testimony about his experience while working at the Trapeang Thma Dam Worksite in 1977. He worked there as a member of a mobile unit in sector 5. During this time, he stated that workers were under constant surveillance. He said that he was told of arrests that took place within his unit, apparently without any reason. The witness also gave testimony about the working conditions at the dam, as well as the daily quotas of soil that workers were supposed to reach and the visits of foreign delegations of observers to the worksite. Moreover, he told the Tribunal about food rations and hygienic conditions at the Worksite, which were insufficient. Additionally, he stressed the fact of lack of medical treatment at the dam. Finally, he spoke about a special working unit, where workers that didn’t reach the daily quota were reassigned to. In this unit, the witness explained that the working conditions were even harder than in the regular ones. 

Mr Sen Sophon Mr Sen Sophon

Civil party Mr. SEN Sophon, 55, described how his family was forcibly evacuated from Phnom Pehn to Battambang Province.  He told the chamber that in 1967 he was part of rice farming group, but in 1977 he was sent to work in Trapeang Thma Dam Worksite. He described the working and living conditions at the worksite. All the workers had minimum work quota of 3 cubic meters per day. He added that the workers did not have resting time or holidays. He explained that the food and water ratio was scarce. The witness testified that he did not know about deaths and tortures, but he noticed the disappearance of people from his group on daily basis. Mr. Sophon described that Yey Chaem, who arrested Ta Val, the former head of Trapeang Thma dam, was even crueler than his predecessor. Sen Sophan told the chamber that the events and experience suffered during Democratic Kampuchea are always in his mind, and he cannot forget them. 

Mrs. Kong Uth Mrs. Kong Uth

Mrs. Kong Uth, 63 or 64, was part of a mobile unit from her village from 1975-79, and as part of this she visited many worksites. Shewas to the 1st January Dam worksite, which she confirmed was called a ‘hot battlefield’, due to the intensive nature of the work, and the long hours (they started work at 4am). Most of the workers were between 23-25, especially single women, who were believed to possess the most strength to work. There were tens of thousands of workers, but no children. At the criticism meetings, workers were told to work harder. The witness stated that she is still suffering from the severity of the labor to this day. She stated that she never stole food, despite not having enough food to eat, but would drink dirty water when thirsty even if it made her sick. People got ill frequently, and there were many accidents from collapsed rocks falling on workers. They used traditional massage and coining to help. She described armed militias and guards who watched over the workers. None of her family members were killed during the regime, but she was forced to get married, as arranged

Mrs. CHUM Samoeurn Mrs. CHUM Samoeurn

Mrs. Chum Samoeurn, 54 or 55, commenced her testimony before the Trial Chamber. She was questioned on her decision to join the Khmer Rouge, which she explained was as a result of wanting to free Sihanouk. She was asked about her home town and family, and explained that all her brothers joined the revolution. The civil party was linked to the former regime because her father was affiliated with it. In mid-1976, she was transferred to work in Kampong Chhnang airfield with her unit. They worked three times a day, carrying soil and rock. She explained that there was no breakfast, no supplementary food, no mosquito net or mat, and they had to drink the water from the creek that they used to wash themselves. She stated that they were never allowed to walk freely and had to work under the rain without proper protection. She explained that due to low levels of hygiene, she had an infection on her hand, but she kept working despite her injury,as no workers dared to refuse to work. In 1978, she was forced to marry, in a five-person ceremony. She initially refused, but was threatened to be killed.

Mr. Him Hân Mr. Him Hân

Mr. Him Han, 66, was a member of Division 310 and was responsible for sorting biographies of RAK cadres from bad to good. In January 1976, he became a full candidate member but his rights were taken after being allegedly connected to the enemy, and sent to work as a regular worker in Kampong Chhnang. He described the conditions as exhausting and insufficient. Before the Division 310 purges, the witness was summoned to a meeting at Olympic Stadium and stated that he witnessed senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge, including Ieng Sary, Khieu Samphan, Pol Pot and Nuon Chea. He described people disappearing as a result of the division 310 purges, and explained that that was also a threat while working at Kampong Chhnang. He stated that Division chief of 310 Oeun and the deputy chiefs were arrested by cadres from the southwest zone, and that he found out Oeun had been sent away after a meeting at Wat Phnom. The witness stated he was sent to Kampong Chhnang where he was demobilized. He described the insufficient work conditions and food rations and said that the work was very hard and the workload exhausting. The workers were not allowed to walk freely or visit other units, and he was instructed not to talk with people from the East Zone, with whom they were working, or they would disappear. In his unit people hid their illnesses to avoid being considered lazy, and were killed and injured in explosions. He confirmed that there were many female workers and Chinese technicians on site.

Ms. Kong Siek Ms. Kong Siek

Ms. Kong Siek, 63, explained that she joined the military, as part of division 450, in Russei Keo hospital before being transferred to work in rice fields. In 1977, she started to work at the Kampong Chhnang construction site, where she had to build canals, carry bags of cement (weighing around 50kg each) and sew clothes. She described the work conditions as very hard, and elaborated on the poor hygiene. She stated that none of the workers looked healthy, and her group held meetings on self-criticism, where everyone was criticized and no one dared to react. She described seeing trucks transporting people and two people being electrocuted near a mango tree. She confirmed that workers were not allowed to move freely, or talk with others, and emphasized that under the regime she couldn’t choose what to do, but did only what as she was ordered. It was emphasized to her ,that if one person was punished, everyone underneath them would be punished too. She explained that she joined the military as a mechanism to survive and her brother, who was already a part of it, encouraged her to do so.

Mr. SEM Hoeurn Mr. SEM Hoeurn

Mr. Sem Hoeurn was only 15 years old at the time of the Lon Nol Coup and joined the Khmer Rouge with the understanding that he was going to liberate his country. He became disillusioned with the regime, however, and was sent to work as a lay person after ‘violating’ the regime. He was present at Wat Phnom, following the occupation of the city, and witnessed torture while training as a soldier. His unit was sent to farm rice, where he was expected to produce five tons of rice per hectare, with only hoes and their bare hands. He said that he did not like the regime, as they mistreated soldiers, their own people, and did not have any freedom. He described it as a ‘prison without walls’, as they were not allowed to move around. He explained that people were accused of being spies for the CIA and KGB, and seen as avoiding the revolution. He described insufficient work conditions, killings, and witnessing Khieu Samphan at the Kampong Chhnang Airport. While a part of the regime during the overthrow of Phnom Penh, Mr. Sem Hoeurn was sent to work as an ordinary citizen at Kampong Chhnang as a result of being defective. He was questioned on his witness statements, which differed from ones given in previous years to DC-CAM, a fault the witness blamed on the passing of time.

Mr. Yean Lon Mr. Yean Lon

Mr. Lean Lon, 73, was assigned by the village chief to work at the 1st January Dam in a mobile unit. He described the working and living conditions at the worksite. As a daily quota they were assigned four cubic meters of earth to be achieved only by using a hoe. According to the witness, he worked very hard, sometimes until 10pm. He stated that food was not sufficient and that there was no drinking water provided. He also said that the workers had to continue working even if they got sick and that there was not sufficient medicine to treat them. The witness acknowledged having been a village militiaman after his work at the dam but he did not agree with a former witness’ claim that he was a chief executioner.

Mr. Keo Loeur Mr. Keo Loeur

KEO Loeur, age 64, started his testimony under the questions of the Co-Prosecutors. According to the witness, he was wounded in battle at the end of 1974 and taken to K4 unit. KEO stated that in 1977 there was a purge of deputies from the North Zone in Division 310. Later on, he was accused of being an enemy and sent to the Kampong Chhnang Airport Construction Worksite on 15 January 1978, where he stayed till 7 January 1979. The witness said that workers were not allowed to move freely, they did not get paid, they did not have enough food (barely a bowl of rice) and that they worked every day of the month. Due to the hard conditions of work, KEO stated that people died. He did not see any guards dying of overwork and of starvation. Only when people got really sick, they were allowed to go to the medical unit, where traditional medicine was used to treat the patients. The witness also stated that he saw approximately 30 cases of people being tortured for being considered traitors. When asked about his arrival to the worksite on 15 January 1978, KEO said that he attended several meetings, during which they were told to work hard otherwise they would be arrested and tortured. According to the witness, workers would be brought to these meetings and then taken away. He claimed not to know the name of the superiors who were chairing these meetings.

Mr. Keo Kin Mr. Keo Kin

Mr. Keo Kin, age 49 or 50, was a Khmer Rouge soldier in Regiment 502, Division 1 from 1972 until April 1975 and said that after he joined the Khmer Rouge in 1972, discipline kept becoming stricter. The witness was part of a group of messengers who transported messages from Kampong Chhnang about once or twice a month, and stated that when his supervisor learned his father had been part of the previous regime before 17 April 1975 he was no longer trusted and was sent to Kampong Chhnang Airport Worksite. Construction on Kampong Chhnang began in late 1975 by a group of 10 people and in 1976 many new waves of soldiers arrived, the witness guessing that the site increased to around 1,000 workers. The witness’s job was to work building garages for parking vehicles, and when he wasn’t building a garage, he had to transport rice seedling and grow vegetables. The witness stated that the airfield was a secret project, and that there were guards to look over the worksite because ordinary civilians could not enter. When asked about living and working conditions at the worksite, the witness stated that workers would work until late at night, the local water was not good for drinking, people had to relieve themselves in the nearby forest, people would get malaria, there were no medical staff on the worksite, there were no beds or mosquito nets in his sleeping quarters, worker’s bodies would swell and they would have diarrhea, and he also saw workers who were hit by rock fragments from trucks going by.

Mr. Chan Morn Mr. Chan Morn

Mr Chan Morn, 59, stated that he was called to join the revolution in March of 1970 when he was studying. He was assigned as a commune messenger and also to transport food supply, and in 1972 he became a messenger for the military. After the Khmer Rouge revolution in 1975, he was assigned to a transportation unit to carry cargo at the Kampong Chhnang Airport Construction site. The witness was there for three months in order to accompany the Chinese delegation who was drilling the land and making measurements. He described different accidents that happened in the different units, and also discussed overwork, malnutrition and suicides at the worksite. The witness stated that people were taken away at night time and transported to Phnom Penh in trucks coming from the city. The witness was accused of transporting rice to the enemy and the next day he was taken to detention at Toul Sleng Security Centre. Chan Morn described how he fled the detention centre with the help of his former colleague in the messenger unit.  

Ms. Sou Soeurn Ms. Sou Soeurn

The witness Ms. Sou Soeurn, 79, was the wife of Central Zone Secretary Ke Pauk and member of the Prek Prosab District Committee. She personally visited the 1st January Dam worksite on a number of occasions. She stated that the living conditions of the workers were proper, since they were provided with bamboo mats and blankets to sleep, two meals per day and water from the streams. She described the reasons why the workers were rotated every three months and said that the Zone provided better food rations at the worksite compared to what was available at the cooperatives. On the arrangement of marriages in her district, the witness stated that it was the district chief who would decide whether to agree or not on the proposed couples.

Ms. Seang Sovida Ms. Seang Sovida

Civil Party Ms. Seang Sovida, 51, explained that she worked at the 1st January Dam worksite at the age of 12 for three months. Her tasks included carrying earth and collecting water for her unit. She said that they had to wake up at 5am and work until 10 or 11pm. She also added that due to the exhausting workload she fainted on the worksite and she was treated with medicine made of rabbit droppings. During their work they would be constantly watched over by armed militiamen and loud speakers would broadcast DK propaganda. As for hygiene, she stated that there was no water or soap to wash themselves and their clothes were tattered. She testified that her sister was forced to get married and to consummate her marriage. During her statement of impact, the Civil Party said that she would like a library to be built to collect documents and material about the DK regime.

Mr. Uth Seng Mr. Uth Seng

The witness Mr. Uth Seng, 59, was a worker at the 1st January Dam worksite assigned to dig earth in the youth unit. He talked about the insufficient food rations, the lack of standard sanitation and the low levels of hygiene at the dam worksite. He described the special unit for lazy workers, where people had to work longer hours and were beaten with whips by the chiefs of the unit. He also talked about the criticism meetings that were held at the end of working hours. Mr. Uth recalled that one night he witnessed the arrest of a few workers who were taken away by militiamen and then killed.

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