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.

Mr. MEAN Loeuy Mr. MEAN Loeuy

Mr. Mean Loeuy, 61, was a monk before the Khmer Rouge. He was urged to dis-robe, and forced to marry under the Khmer Rouge. He lost his new wife and many members of his family. He described how monks were described as “leeches” under the Khmer Rouge and shared how two of the kids from his family (aged 3 and 5) had their throats slit. He stated that his marriage was as part of a ceremony for 63 couples, many of whom could not recognize their spouses, as they had never met. He said that the couples spent a couple of nights together before having to resume work. The couples eventually lived separately but were allowed to do monthly visits. He said that he remembers his wife, whom he says he loved and could have been pregnant at the time of her death, by holding an annual Buddhist ceremony for her memory. He said that he only manages to escape the pain and suffering he experienced under the Khmer Rouge regime when he meditates and participates in religious ceremonies. 

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 – 02 September 2015
M. SAM Sak M. SAM Sak

Civil party Sam Sak, 52, told that he was evacuated with his family from Phnom Penh on 17 April 1975. He was sent to the children unit in Samraong Commune to collect cow dung. He explained that later on he joined the mobile unit at Trapeang Thma Dam worksite since the food was better there than in the children unit. He stated that because of the workload he became sick but he still continued working.  He was scared of being accused of imaginary sickness. He explained that the Angkor had a phrase: if you could eat, you could work. He described the lack of food, lack of sleep, and unsanitary conditions at the worksite. He also told that people were arrested and killed.

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 – 02 September 2015
Ms. NUON Narom Ms. NUON Narom

Civil party Ms. Nuon Narom, 59, testified on the living conditions at the 1st January Dam. The witness described how she and her family were evacuated from Phnom Penh on 17 April 1975. She was separated from her family and later on she was sent to work at the mobile unit of the 1st January Dam in January. The civil party stated that they had to work “day and night without any rest” to complete the dam before the rainy season. She described that they did not get enough food or clean water. She testified that workers were mistreated physically and mentally. She stated that the killing ended in 1979 and that she felt very lucky to survive.

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 – 01 September 2015
Ms. CHAO Lang Ms. CHAO Lang

Ms. Chao Lang, 64, explained that she was in Siem Reap in 1975, but she was advised to go to Phnom Penh to find her parents and hide her biography. Whilst there, the Khmer Rouge took-over and she was separated from her parents. She stated that both of her parents were killed. Ms. Chao Laing stated that she ended up in a mobile unit, through which she ended up at the 1st January worksite. She described taking a day off, and discovering from that her sister, sister’s husband, and their three-year-old child had been killed, because they were in possession of salt, and were accused of being “white Khmer”. She broke down as she told how the “base people” had said that they were chained to an ox cart and dragged around the village. She also described her forced marriage, and that after the regime, she divorced her husband because his in-laws were not satisfied with her. 

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 – 01 September 2015
Mr. NHIP Horl Mr. NHIP Horl

Mr. Nhip Horl, 63, a Civil Party from Battambang, testified how he fled his village after it was bombed by American fighters in April 1975. He provided details on how he was required to harvest and load sacks of rice into trucks despite his ailing health condition. He mentioned that he was eventually transferred to work at the Trapeang Thma Dam Worksite in 1977 where he was tasked to carry soil to build the dam. He also shed light on the post-traumatic stress disorder that he suffered from, the general health condition of the workers, and the overall work structure at the Worksite. 

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 – 25 August 2015

Mr. Chhuy Huy, 58, was born in the Thmey Village and was a sector mobile brigade worker at the Trapeang Thma Dam Worksite. He stated that his task was to carry soil, and that each worker was required to carry two cubic meters of soil per day. He mentioned that the workers worked from 7 AM to 11 AM, had a break, and then continued working in the afternoon and sometimes even in the evening. Mr. Huy confirmed his participation in the meetings headed by Ta Val to receive guidance on how to best organize the work structure at the Worksite. As for the health condition at the Worksite, he mentioned that around four to twenty people would fell ill at any given time.  He was also questioned about forced marriages, the “illness” that caused his temporary removal from his position at the Worksite, and the arrests and killings that allegedly happened. 

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 – 24 August 2015
Ms. YI Laisov Ms. YI Laisov

Witness Ms. YI Laisov, 57, testified on forced marriage and the working conditions at the Trapeang Thma Dam site. She explained that she was told to marry a man called Rhom. She added that the unit chief threatened that she and her family would be killed if she would refuse to marry. She testified that people who were considered to be lazy by chiefs had to attend self-criticism meetings. She also testified that Ta Val was in charge of the Trapeang Thma Dam worksite.

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 – 20 August 2015
Mr. TAK Boy Mr. TAK Boy

Mr. Tak Boy, 61, was a former Lon Nol soldier who lived in the Trapeang Thma village as a member of the mobile unit after 1975. Mr. Tak Boy stated that he was afraid that his background would be revealed to Khmer Rouge; fortunately, he was not required to present his biography. He testified that workers were not allowed to sleep or eat enough. He stated that the water was dirty and that some people got sick. According to the witness, couples got married when both parties accepted the marriage. He stated that sometimes fifty couples got married at once. The witness described that whole families of Vietnamese and Cham were arrested, and that the husbands were separated from their families.   

Mr. CHHUM Seng Mr. CHHUM Seng

Mr. CHHUM Seng, 61, was a former Lon Nol soldier and a company chief in the Trapeang Thma Dam Worksite during the Khmer Rouge regime.  The witness described the arrests of the North-West Zone cadres and former Lon Nol soldiers. In regard to disappearances, Mr. Seng stated that two people disappeared from his unit and that he did not know where and how they disappeared since they never returned. The witness stated that they were monitored also during the night, and those who talked against Angkar were transferred into a different unit to be monitored. He mentioned a proverb that goes like “even a fish dies if it talks too much” to describe the situation. He also explained that the workers were made to marry each other according to their biographies. 

Mr. CHHIT Yoeuk Mr. CHHIT Yoeuk

Mr. Chhit Yoeuk, 67, described the authority structure in ector 5 as well as the conditions at the Trapaeng Thma Dam worksite. He stated that he was sent to work at the dam in April or May 1976 to fulfill the role of assistant to the chief Ta Val. He testified that he was afraid to be arrested and killed if he refused to follow instructions. He also mentioned that the workers were required to reach the daily quota of carrying two cubic meters of earth. Chhit Youk described the scarce food ratio and stated that half of the workers were emaciated. He testified that children also worked at the Trapaeng Thma Dam worksite and that he was instructed to monitor workers: “Anyone who opposed the regime would be reported to the regime.” In addition, Chhit Yoeuk described the arrests of the North-West zone cadres and the arrival of the Southwest Zone cadres.  

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.

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 – 30 July 2015
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. 

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 – 27 July 2015
Mr. Toit Thoeurn Mr. Toit Thoeurn
Mr. Sâm Sithy Mr. Sâm Sithy
Mr. Sao Po Mr. Sao Po
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

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 – 25 June 2015
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.

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 – 24 June 2015
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.

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 – 17 June 2015
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.

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 – 16 June 2015
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