Case 002

Two former Khmer Rouge leaders are now on trial in Case 002.

The two Accused are:

  • Nuon Chea, former Chairman of the Democratic Kampuchea National Assembly and Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea; and
  • Khieu Samphan, former Head of State of Democratic Kampuchea

The two Accused are charged with crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, and genocide against the Muslim Cham and the Vietnamese. 

The Trial Chamber held the initial hearing in June 2011. Since then, Case 002 has been severed into at least to separate trials, each addressing a different section of the indictment.

Two other co-accused, Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith, were also part Case 002. The proceedings against Ieng Sary were terminated on 14 March 2013, following his death the same day. Ieng Thirith, was indicted but later found unfit to stand trial due to her dementia and separated from the case in November 2011. Following a re-assessment by medical experts in August 2012, The Trial Chamber found that Ieng Thirith remained unfit to stand trial. The medical experts concluded that no further available medical treatment was likely to improve Ieng Thirith's fitness to stand trial. Ieng Thirith was released from provisional detention on 16 September 2012, and she is currently under under judical supervision.

Case 002/01: The first trial (Case 002/01) commenced on 21 November 2011, primarily focusing on alleged crimes against humanity related to the forced movement of the population from Phnom Penh and later from other regions (phases one and two), and excution of Khmer Republic soldiers at Toul Po Chrey execution site immediately after the Khmer Rouge takeover in 1975.  It also considers the roles of the Accused in relation to regime policies relevant to all charges, which will provide a foundation for examining the remaining charges in future trials. The hearing of evidenve in case 002/01 ended on 23 July 2013 and the closing statements concluded on 31 October 2013. The trial judgment was pronounced on 7 August 2014. Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan were found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life imprisonment. Both accused havesfiled appeals against the judgement, and appeals proceedings are ongoing.

Case 002/02: 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 Cooperatives;
•    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.


Read more about Case 002/01

Read more about Case 002/02

Case 002/01

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

Ms. Math Sor Ms. Math Sor
Of Cham ethnicity, Ms. MATH Sor was born in approximately 1961 in Kampong Cham province. The testimony of Ms. Math offers personal insight into the treatment of the Cham people during Democratic Kampuchea. She describes being arrested and detained, and how she was able to avoid being selected for execution – surviving by lying about her ethnic origin. The witness also recounts visceral details of executions, including victims pleading with KR cadres not to be raped. Additional details surrounding the treatment of Cham people were revealed, including the forced eating of pork.
SOY Doeun SOY Doeun
Mr. SÂY Doeun, approximately 68 years old from Kampong Cham province is the next witness in January proceedings. The witness testified that he was a member of the Long Swords Group (LSG), tasked to ensure that workers in the rice fields did not steal any rice and to patrol surrounding villages. The LSG was also responsible for effecting arrests. In one instance he was ordered to arrest all Cham people indiscriminately. Following a brief tenure as a member of the LSG, the witness was then appointed village chief in a nearby village. The testimony of Mr. SÂY provides insight into the orders delivered by senior leaders in the Khmer Rouge in relation to the treatment of Cham people.
 MOUY Vanny MOUY Vanny
Mr. MUY Vanny, from Kampong Cham province, 49 years old at the time of his testimony, worked in a District Mobile Unit (DMU), stationed in Sdau commune for a period of just over two years. The DMU contained not only Khmer, but also 25-30 Cham people as estimated by the witness. Mr. Muy testified to witnessing his Cham colleagues being marched away as he returned to his DMU one evening. It was rumoured among the DMU that those who were led away were executed at Wat Autrakoun. Testimony revealed that these individuals were known to be Cham as they did not make an effort to conceal their identity early in the Khmer Rouge period. They also spoke Khmer with an accent and had ethnic names. For a period of approximately half a year, Mr. Muy described his role as that of a messenger for the Chief of Security at Wat Au Trakoun Security Centre, Hoeun. The testimony provided insight into the structure and operation of the DMU. The testimony also revealed conditions of those being held at Wat Autrakoun.
Mr. THANG Phal, of Prey Veaeng district, estimates he was 24 years old at the beginning of the Democratic Kampuchea regime. He came before the court to recall his subjugation to the Khmer Rouge – that he was labelled as the son of a capitalist and was forced into labor for the duration of the regime. Mr. Thang also elaborated a criterion that was used to determine the fate of children belonging to mixed ethnicity families. The children would be arrested and would disappear if the mother was Vietnamese, but if only the father was Vietnamese and the mother Khmer, the children would be spared. Mr. Thang did note, however, that none of his testimony can be substantiated from first-hand knowledge. Rather, this information was conveyed through anecdotes and rumors among his fellow villagers. Concluding his testimony, Mr. THANG Phal confirmed that he had heard of gunfire and artillery shelling as the Vietnamese army began to encroach upon Cambodian territory in 1979.

Witness 2-TCW-1000 was a former Khmer Rouge soldier. He received naval training before joining the Khmer rouge army. 2-TCW-1000 testified that Ta Meas Muth was the commander of his division (Division 164) and that his division had orders to arrest motorboats that were not part of the navy and report on the ethnicity of the occupants. 2-TCW-1000 remembers Vietnamese people getting arrested at sea, taken at the Ouchheuteal port  and being beaten afterwards even when they were unarmed.

Mr. IY Vuun Mr. IY Vuun

Mr. IY Vuun, aged 79 years old worked in a rice field and lived about 300 meters from the Ksach pagoda. The temple had been removed and one of the monk residences was used to store rice. Mr. Vuun testified that executions took place in the pagoda including the execution. The people who were executed were told they were going to attend a study session. No one was allowed near the pagoda, it was forbidden and it was guarded. Mr. Vuun explains that he was able to get close to pagoda to see the pit of corpses as he was tendering cows in the area. 

Mrs. SIN Chhem

79 years old Ms. SIN Chhem was called to testify on the treatment of Vietname people in her commune during the Democratic Kampuchea regime. Ms. Chhem testified that the Vietnamese in her commune had Khmer husbands and wives. The Vietnamese spouses and the children of mixed marriages were taken away at night time to be killed. In total 4 families were taken away. Her husband was a commune chief. After her husband’s arrest, another person replaced him and the witness testified that that person had organized the arrests of the Vietnamese families in the commune. 

Mr. Um Sounn Mr. Um Sounn

Mr. Um Sounn was about 30 meters away from the killing site at Khsach Pagoda and was with friend Sean Sung - a previous witness in Case 002/02.  W remembers armed people accusing the victims as “Yuon” (Vietnamese) inside the library hall. W then heard screams and crying while he saw the victims being killed one by one. Out of immense fear, he ran towards his house shaking and trembling. He returned to the killing site the next day and saw pits overflowing with corpses and gall bladders hanging on coconut trees. W mentioned that babies and small children were held upside down and were smashed onto the coconut trees whereas older children were killed using bamboo clubs.       

Mr. Prum Sarun Mr. Prum Sarun

After serving in the former Lon Nol miliarty for over 3 years, including 1 year of study in Thailand, Mr. Prum Sarun testified on his experiences. The witness knew that all of the other former soldiers in his area were taken away and killed; however, the KR spared his life due his hard work. The witness was also present in a few meetings with the KR officials which detailed accused traiors within the commune who were then killed.The witness also saw young cadres, as young as eight years old whose gun barrels touched the ground, arresting groups of people who were taken away and never returned.

Mr. CHHOEUNG Yaing Chaet Mr. CHHOEUNG Yaing Chaet

 The Civil Party’s family was mistreated in Sey Taekoy Village – his birthplace – and threatened by the Khmer Rouge, after which point they were forced to move to Kampong Chnnang. His family was killed without warning while at Da Village; one morning, eight men armed with guns, axes, and grenades came for his family, tied them up in rope used for cows, and walked them away. At the time he was unaware that his family would be killed and only found out after walking by a ditch and seeing their bodies. CP also admits that he was hit in the neck three times by an axe. CP describes his attempted execution; he was forced to kneel by the pit, but he lost his balance and his head moved forward, afterward he was hit by an axe three times in the neck and dropped into the pit. He regained consciousness, around the lifeless bodies of this family members, at around 4 pm and walked day and night to the floating Vietnamese Kruh Village, where he was given traditional and modern medicine.       

Ms. Sao Sak Ms. Sao Sak

Ms. Sak resides in Olong Treah Village, Prey Veng Province and works as a dry season rice farmer. Her mother was half Vietnamese, but none of her mother’s family members lived in their village. She recalls that anybody with Vietnamese origin was taken away to be killed, and that her mother met the same fate. 

Prak Deun Prak Deun

Prak Deun testified on the treatment of  Vietnamese people by the Khmer Rouge. He had a wife, four daughters and a son during the Khmer Rouge reign, and was evacuated to Pek Chan Ba Village where his family were divided into their separate units. After being forcibly relocated to Ta Muth Island for one and a half years, Khmer Rouge cadres granted Mr. Deun's request to have his family moved to the island with him. During this time he saw ethnic Vietnamese removed from the island or attacked, and speaking Vietnamese resulted in physical punishment or death. Eventually the cadres separated the Vietnamese and Khmer into separate groups and brutally murdered the Vietnamese group.

2TCW-918 2TCW-918

Witness 2TCW-918, a Commander of the Battlefield and worker in a fishing district from 1975-1976, was called to testify about the nature of dam production, workers' amenities, and various other subjects. As a Commander of the Battlefield, 2TCW-918 was primarily responsible for overseeing the production of dams and supervising the workforce. He gave specific details pertaining to his time supervising the construction of dams and working in the district 5 fishing village.

Mr. SIEN Sung Mr. SIEN Sung

Witness Mr. Sien Sung witnessed how a girl named Chantha was allegedly attacked when her gall bladder was removed from her body during a purge at Wat Khsach pagoda in Chi Kreng district in 1978. He also testified that he watched 60 to 80 people being killed by the Khmer Rouge, amongst them children. The soldiers who killed the victims were, according to this testimony, between 14 and 16 years old with one adult leading the group (source).

Mr. SOS Romly Mr. SOS Romly
Mr. SOS Rumly, of Kampong Cham province, approximately 60 years old at the time of his testimony, is the second witness to be heard before the Trial Chamber in January. As the clerk to the Trea commune chief during the Democratic Kampuchea, Mr. SOS Rumly conveyed testimony concerning the treatment of Chams. A Cham himself, he described his own experiences prior to 1975 and how things changed after. The general theme of his testimony was the restriction of religious and cultural freedoms, leading to the arrests of various Cham leaders throughout his village.
Mr. BAN Seak Mr. BAN Seak

Mr. BAN Seak, aged 61, testified how he was appointed as the Deputy Chief of Public Works after the purges of the North Zone cadres occurred. During his time as Deputy Secretary, So Soeun, wife of Ke Pauk, was appointed District Chief of the Chamkar Leu District. Being tasked with supervising the Lvea and Chamkar Andong villages, he was unaware of any Cham people living within the areas because they were forbidden to practice their religion. The witness was not aware about the fate of approximately 1,000 Cham families reported missing from the Chamkar Leu district. Mr. Ban, who lost two of his siblings during this time, reaffirmed that people were killed regardless of their race or religion. He was told by the district committee members that Nuon Chea acted as one of the key advisors on certain "policies". Mr. Ban said he had no authority to decide who would be executed; the orders came from the upper levels, and stated that no one was spared from the purges. If you opposed the regime, you were the enemy. He recalled seeing corpses, some in unknown military uniforms, floating down the Mekong near Trea Villiage. Some did not have heads.

Mr. SOT Sophal Mr. SOT Sophal

Rice farmer Mr. SOT Sophal, aged 51 at the time of trial, recalls his experience working at the Trapeang Thma Dam (TTD) worksite. He was transferred to the TTD worksite after being one of 2,000-3,000 children working at a Kampok Plantation. At the TTD site, he was part of the Special Children’s Unit assigned to dig and carry dirt, enough to meet the ever increasing daily quota. Working from 3am until 11am, then 2pm until 11pm, Mr. Sot states that if you didn’t meet the daily quota your food rations were significantly reduced. He saw workers fainting and dying because of too much work and inadequate food rations. Some people were also punished by being tied to wooden boards. He heard militia regularly stating “to keep you is no gain, to lose you is no loss”. He confirms that he would see people getting arrested to be brought to Ta Val, the alleged TTD chief, and states that the purpose of the arrests was re-education. He never saw the return of the arrested people. Some workers were publically killed to deter disobeying behavior; as a result, he fled TTD to the forest. He heard screams of people being pushed into pits by tractors.  

Ms. NO Sates Ms. NO Sates

Ms. No Sates, 57, was born and still lives in the Srei Klang Village, Srei Klang Commune. Srei Klang was at the time considered a Cham villager and, after a quelled rebellion, she and nearly three hundred other villagers were quarantined in a warehouse with no access to food or medical supplies. All were forbidden to speak Cham or practice Islam, and many died as a result of confinement and lack of access to vital resources. Ms. No stated that the Chams were targeted - especially men - and often taken away at knife-point, and that she lied about being Khmer for fear of execution. The Khmer Rouge tasked Ms. No and her fellow villagers with constructing a large dam and digging graves, during which time both of her parents died. She contracted dysentery.

Mr. HIM Man Mr. HIM Man

Mr. Him Man, a Civil Party, 66, was born and currently resides in Sauk Sau village in Kampong Cham. He stated that the Khmer Rouge viewed the Cham people as "enemy number one" and forced them to eat pork, cut their hair, and stop doing religious displays such as praying. Even if these rules were obeyed, many Cham people were removed from the village and executed by the Khmer Rouge The Civil Party said he had observed some of the killings while hiding in the bushes. Mr. Him said that he and his wife escaped persecution by hiding in a nearby pond for nearly four months before being captured and subsequently sent to a detention facility. Later, while he was aboard a boat ostensibly bound for execution, Mr. Him was rescued by the Vietnamese.

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 - 28 September 2015
Mr. TAY Koemhun Mr. TAY Koemhun

Mr. TAY Koemhun testified that his house was 50 metres away from the Wat Au Trakuon pagoda, where he saw multiple people being directed four or five times per day. Men, women and children were led to the pagoda which played loud music; the older ones were tied up with rope as the younger children followed behind. The witness was not aware of the reason why people were being taken to the pagoda, but other villagers told him that they were being killed inside while the loud music was being played. The witness was tasked to harvest rice and had his life threatened twice by cadres. After the regime was over, Mr. Tay confirmed that Chams were no longer in his village.    

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 - 16 September 2015

Mr. Samrit Muy, 68, was born in Kang Meas District in Kampong Cham province. He testified about the arrest of many Cham people in the Sach Sou village and their subsequent disappearance in the Au Trakuon pagoda. The witness was a worker at a rubber plantation in Peam Chi Kang until the B-52 bombings, and was later appointed to ‘Commune Militiaman’ in Sach Sou village, adjacent to Sambuor Meas village. The witness told the Trial Chamber about one large arrest where all the Cham people living in Sach Sou village, except for one family (that is a husband and a wife) that was arrested. This took place after the establishment of the so-called Long Sword Group by the Southwest group, as recalled by the witness. From a distance, the witness said he saw how the Cham people were taken to the Au Trakuon pagoda ‘to be killed’. Despite never having seen any killing, the witnessed assured the court that ‘those who were brought into that pagoda would never return'.

Mr. SEN Srun Mr. SEN Srun

Rice farmer Sen Srun, 67, was formally interviewed five times by the court at his residence in Kampong Cham. He joined the revolutionary movement in 1971 and became a member of Batallion 305, Zone 304, Section 30. Mr. Sen was ordered to return to his home village in 1976. Upon returning, he was arrested and detained for ten days, after which he, with the consent of his family, was arranged to marry a woman. He was sent to work in the mobile unit as a tree climber. Mr. Sen recalls a relative integration of the Cham and Khmer people in his village, although practicing religion, wearing Cham clothing and speaking Cham were all forbidden. A large scale purge of the mid-level to high-ranking Northwest Zone Cadres took place in 1976 and 1977 as they were subsequently replaced by Southwestern counterparts. Sen told the Trial Chamber that he was assigned to accompany the Long Sword Group - a militia group created to track down and arrest Chams. He explained that all Cham people in the two villages were arrested in one day, perhaps 200-300 individuals, and that he was tasked to lead the arrested people to Wat Au Trakuon. The next day, Mr. Sen was told by a cadre that the arrested Cham people had been smashed during the last night. In 1979, Mr. Srun was assigned as village chief, after which time he ordered the exhumation of several mass graves surrounding the village. 

Mr. SENG Kuy Mr. SENG Kuy

Witness Mr. Seng Kuy, 62, is a Khmer who described the treatment of  the Chams in Angkor Ban village number 2. He stated that after the Khmer Rouge soldiers arrived in his village in 1975, he was considered “a slave among other slaves.” He told that he was assigned to work in the rice fields. After the Khmer Rouge regime took the power, the Chams were brought into his village. Mr. Seng testified that the Chams did not practice their religion because they were afraid of the Khmer Rouge. In 1977, Mr. Seng witnessed the arrest of approximately 15 Cham people, which were executed by Mr. Run and his communal security forces. He added that he heard Mr. Run being referred to as a butcher.  Mr. Seng added that at the end of the Khmer Rouge regime, Mr. Run was killed by the people of Angkor Ban because he was the one arresting people. He added that he was one of the people assigned to transport the arrested Chams to the Au Trakuon pagoda. He was ordered to do this particular task by the chief of the Angkor Village; he was afraid to be killed if he refused. He testified that he never saw the arrested Chams again after leaving them at the pagoda.  

Mr. SOS Ponyamin Mr. SOS Ponyamin

The Civil Party Mr. Sos Ponyamin, 61, described the treatment of the Chams during the Democratic Kampuchea regime. He explained how the Khmer Rouge forbade Chams to respect their religion. Chams were forced to eat pork and were forbidden to fast and pray. Mr. Sos also revealed that they were prohibited to use their own language and women were forced to cut their hair. He told that if they would have opposed any of these principles, then they would have been accused of being enemies of Angkar. Mr. Sos stated that people were arrested without any reasonable explanations. His cousin told him that there was a plan to arrest 80 Cham s, and Mr. Sos organized a revolt with two other people. He explained that after the crackdown of the revolt, the soldiers took the Chams out of the village and interrogated and tortured them.  He also described the working and living conditions at the worksite. He stated that the conditions were the same for Cham  and Khmer people, and that he saw many corpses, but he did not witness any executions. Mr. Sos lost seven of his relatives during Khmer Rouge regime.  

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 – 08 September 2015
Mr. IT Sen Mr. IT Sen

Mr. It Sen, 63, from the Tbong Khmum province, was the first Cham witness to appear before the court to provide testimony on the genocide charges against Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan. He talked about how the Khmer Rouge soldiers forbade the Chams from practicing Islam, wearing their traditional clothing, and speaking their own language. He mentioned that those who were heard speaking Cham were taken away and murdered. He confirmed the Cham uprising that happened in Koh Pal Island and talked about how he and his co-villagers were forcibly evacuated to the Trea village after the soldiers cut off their food supply. Mr. IT eventually revealed that the Trea village was actually a detention and execution site where he witnessed the soldiers drowning people in the river. He stated that he escaped from captivity after he managed to pry a floorboard open, thereby giving him the opportunity to swim all the way back to his home village.  

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