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. 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, said that he joined the Khmer Rouge in 1972. He was stationed at Pochentong Airport after the fall of Phnom Penh until early 1976  when his supervisor learned his father had been part of the previous regime. 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.  

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 – 09 June 2015
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.

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 – 04 June 2015
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.

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

Mrs. UN Ron Mrs. UN Ron

Civil Party, Ms. Un Ron, 62, explained the conditions of working and living on the 1st January Dam worksite. She stated that the unit chief would divide the land in plots and at the end of the day he would make sure that the each group met the daily quota of four squared meters of dug earth. She stated that during the rainy season they were not allowed to rest despite the difficulty of carrying the dirt on slippery ground. Asked about re-education, Ms. Un explained that calling in sick too often, running away from the worksite, not working enough and complaining would all lead to re-education, which to her meant killing. She also stated that she eyewitnessed the visits of Pol Pot at the dam.

Mrs. Hun Sethany Mrs. Hun Sethany

Mrs. Hun Sethany, 60, was sent to work at the 1st January Dam construction site from December 1976 to mid-1977 along with twelve others from her close family, and people who refused to leave their homes were killed. The Civil Party claimed that the conditions were not sanitary, as there were flies in their meals, they had to drink water from the river, there was a lack of feminine hygiene, they had to relieve themselves in the forest, and their sleeping quarters did not have mats to sleep on and the roofs leaked. She described long working hours and stated that the Khmer Rouge cadres did not care at all about the conditions of the workers. According to Mrs. Hun, at the worksite the children had to do the same work as the adults and had the same food ration. She stated that both of her parents and her siblings were killed.

Ms. Meas Layhuor Ms. Meas Layhuor

Ms. Meas Layhour, 57, was assigned to a mobile unit to carry earth at the 1st January Dam Worksite in 1977 and was later sent to work at the 6th January Dam. She explained that the 1st January Dam was a “hot battlefield” because there were very long working hours and they could not rest, and that there was a soil collapse which killed some of the workers. The witness described the living conditions and lack of freedoms at the worksite, including having to relieve themselves in the forest, many flies when they were eating, arranged marriages, unsuitable housing conditions, illnesses such as malaria and dysentery, no proper set up for a medical unit, lack of hygiene, and the supervision mechanisms on the dam worksite. The witness explained that when there were visitors to the 1st January Dam worksite, workers were told to run while carrying earth in order to appear proactive in their work, and if workers did not meet their quota of one cubic meter per day then they would be punished.

Mr. Pech Sokha Mr. Pech Sokha

Mr. Pech Sokha, 55, explained that his group chief told him he had to leave school to work at the 1st January Dam worksite, and in 1977 was assigned to a group of survey technicians, though sometimes he also assisted with manual labor. Two of the other survey technicians at this site were disappeared and the witness learned that they were arrested and killed. He explained how his teacher had given him the advice to “act deaf and dumb” in order to survive. Mr. Sokha learned from the announcements made through loud speakers that people had to carry two cubic meters of soil per person and that approximately 20,000 people were necessary to work in the dam construction. The witness described the disappearance of two of the sector secretaries and the monitoring of workers in the worksite by zone soldiers, and agreed that there was a critical lack of hygiene.  

Mr. OR Ho Mr. OR Ho

Mr. Or Ho, 70, joined the communist revolution from 1972 to 1978 and was a village chief from 1975 until July 1978 when he was removed from that position by Angkar. The witness described his time at the 1st January Dam worksite including the lack of hygiene and food, how people in the commune were classified into different categories (full right members, candidate people, and depositary) and work groups, recalled three arranged marriage ceremonies that happened in 1977 and 1978, and stated that there around two thousand workers in the worksite. The witness recalled one accident when the soil at the worksite collapsed on the workers and some of the workers died. He also spoke about a time in which he hid eight families to rescue them when 15 families were asked to relocate to a new village.

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 – 19 May 2015
Ms. Vorng Sarun Ms. Vorng Sarun

Ms. Vorng Sarun, 61, testified that she worked at Hospital 22 together with her husband before he was arrested and executed. She explained that in 1977 she was taken to Kraing Ta Chan with her one-year-old baby. According to the witness they were given very little food and her baby was beaten. She told the Chamber about her interrogation that took place a week after the arrest. She described the episodes of a former soldier and a female person who tried to escape and who were then caught and seriously beaten. Ms. Vorng also explained that she witnessed some people being taken away for execution while loud music was being played.

Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/02 – 18 May 2015
Mr. Ek Hoeun Mr. Ek Hoeun

Mr. Ek Hoeun, 78, explained that due to his “undesirable” Vietnamese nationality his life was in danger under the Khmer Rouge. He testified that he received protection from his cousin Ta Chim who hid him in the Tram Kak district office and assigned him to unload bags of rice off trucks from China. The witness was questioned about the treatment of Vietnamese and former Lon Nol officials and civil servants, who, according to the witness, were considered enemies of the regime. He described the process of their identification and arrest and confirmed that between 1975 and 1977 executions took place throughout the country.    

Mrs. KHOEM Boeun Mrs. KHOEM Boeun

Ms. Khoem Boeun, 72, testified that she joined the revolution in 1969 and then became chief of Tram Kak’s Cheang Tong commune under the name Yeay Boeun. She was questioned about the system of reporting and instructions given among the different administrative levels of Democratic Kampuchea, and she stated that she had never been involved in any violence or arrests since she had no right on these matters. She explained that in her commune New people were not allowed to marry Old people and that instructions regarding marriages were disseminated by the district. She described the living conditions in her commune, adding that there were no distinctions between New and Old people in terms of education and health. She also answered on distinctions between minor and serious offences.

Mr. Pech Chim Mr. Pech Chim

Mr. Pech Chim, 74, was allegedly a member of the district committee and became Tram Kak acting district secretary in mid-1976 before being transferred to the Central Zone. He testified about the structure of Sector 13 and the regime’s chain of command. He was questioned about the DK policy on marriage, stating that marriage regulation existed as a formal practice rather than written rule. He explained that as district chief he disseminated instructions from the upper Echelon and denied having witnessed or ordered any executions of former Lon Nol soldiers. However, he was aware that during the regime executions took place. On the issue of Buddhism, Mr. Chim stated that religious practices were not prohibited in District 105 but that Buddhist statues were demolished.

Ms. OUM Vannak Ms. OUM Vannak

 Ms. Oum, 47 or 48, explained that she was living in Takeo province during the liberation but was moved a few times and in 1976 she was forced to join a children’s unit. According to Ms. Oum, the children in her unit faced difficult working conditions with late hours, insufficient food, and the torture of the new children by the base people children. She explained two instances in which she was beaten by either the unit chief or other children because she was caught visiting her family without permission. Ms. Oum explained why her brother was taken to Kraing Ta Chan Prison. The civil party described that in 1977 she witnessed militiamen taking prisoners away to be executed and saw them beating the prisoners, but did not tell anyone. 

MS. LOEP Neang MS. LOEP Neang

 Ms. Loep, 51, explained that she lived in the Tram Kak district during the Khmer Rouge regime. She stated that she was separated from her parents and that she lost two older siblings and two younger siblings. Ms. Loep described her time working at the unit, where she claims she was required to eat pork by the militiamen and the unit chief even though it was against her religion to eat it. She explained that her work in the unit was to dig canals and if she did not finish her work, she was forced to complete it during the night time. 

Mr. BUN Sarouen Mr. BUN Sarouen

 Mr. Bun Sarouen, 50 or 51, stated that he was suffering during the regime because he lost his uncle, brother and father and he was not able to go to school. Mr. Bun described that the pagoda where he was living was destroyed and he was taken to a children’s unit and was required to carry earth. He stated that they were only given half their food ration if they did not meet quota. Mr. Bun explained that the chief of the plantation told him his brother-in-law and his father were taken to Kraing Ta Chan, and said he was paralyzed because he knew they were taken there to die. He also described his mother’s re-education. 

Mr. Thann Thim Mr. Thann Thim

 Mr. Thann Thim, 69 or 70, explained that he was evacuated to Takeo Province from a refugee camp in Phnom Penh after the victory of Pol Pot, was evacuated again in 1976 to plough fields, and in 1977 was transferred to work in a unit that transported timber. Mr. Thann described why he was taken to Ang Rokar prison in 1978 and was questioned on his treatment there. The civil party stated that he was tortured during his three months at Ang Rokar, and explained he had been sent there because his daughter was forced to confess he was a former lieutenant in Phnom Penh. Mr. Thann explained that was able to run away from the prison when a fire destroyed the detention center but was kept in the prison for 3 months. 

Mr. Beng Boeun Mr. Beng Boeun

 Mr. Beng Boeun, 75 or 76, stated that he was forced to leave Phnom Penh in 1975. Mr. Beng stated that he lost two of his brothers-in-law and sister-in-law. He described that in late 1978 he was assigned to grow vegetables and at one point base people cooked food for the new people and poisoned it. He stated that food was not sufficient but if they complained about it, they would be brought by the Khmer Rouge to be killed. Mr. Beng was questioned about the separation of the people based on ethnicity, and explained that he and his wife were put in the group of the Chinese Khmer based on the tone of his skin, accent and parents’ name. 

Ms. Yem Khonny Ms. Yem Khonny

 Ms. Yem Khonny, 38, stated that she was 14 at the time of the liberation in 1975 though she cannot recall as she is illiterate. She explained that she was transferred from Kampuchea Krom to Cambodia to work, and that even though they were told that there was abandoned food there, there was little food but she would not dare to complain or she would be taken for re-education and made to do extra work. She also stated that she was separated from her family members.  Ms. Yem described that ultimately her mother, grandmother, and six siblings were killed.  

Ms. Tak Sann Ms. Tak Sann

Ms Tak Sann, 67 ,  told she was born in Kiri Vong district, Takeo province.  She fled with her family to Kampuchea Krom because she was afraid. She was asked to leave with other people as a part of “exchange program”, and she and her parents, children, and husband was taken to Trapaeng Thum Khang Cheung in Tram Kak district. She explained that when she arrived to Tram Kak her personal property was confiscated. She told that the family was divided into different units. She stated that she was pregnant in Tram Kak, and she had the baby alone because her husband was taken away. She told she and her new born child was not given enough food. She described how she was forced to work and carry the earth even she was pregnant.  She could not rest until she had completed the assignment.She lost her siblings and husband during the Khmer Rouge, but her children survived.

Ms. Iam Yen Ms. Iam Yen

 Ms. Iam Yen, 47 or 48, stated that she was separated from her parents in 1976 and sent to Tuol Kruu village to go work at the dam there at the children’s unit. Ms. Iam described a few instances in which she was caught either trying to escape from her unit to visit her parents or was seeing attempting to steal food, and was beaten or buried. The civil party explained that her suffering continues today because she has poor health and is uneducated, which stemmed from her time under the regime. 

Mr. Richard Dudman Mr. Richard Dudman

Mr. Richard Dudman, age 96, was one of only two western journalist who were allowed to visit Democratic Kampuchea. Hetestified via videolink from the USA. Mr. Dudman recollected on his time spent in Cambodia before, during, and after the Khmer Rouge. He stated that they were all different experiences, that in 1978 he was physically threatened, but in 1990 he was walking through the streets and looking for evidence. He recalled his experiences the evening of Malcolm Caldwell’s death in December 1978, stating that he heard gunshots but is unsure of the reason for the attack against the journalists. Mr. Dudman also recalled his interview with Pol Pot. 

Ms. OEM Saroeurn Ms. OEM Saroeurn

 Ms. Oem Sarouern, 59 or 60, explained that in 1975 she was evacuated from Takeo to work and live in Leay Bour commune and was separated from her family in 1976. According to the civil party, she was assigned to a mobile unit in 1977 to carry earth, and senior leaders visited the Tram Kok worksite that year. The civil party stated that she did not receive enough food when she was transferred and was arrested for stealing cassava. Questioned about her husband, the Ms. Oem stated that he was arrested by Ang Ta Soam guard and sent to Kraing Ta Chan in 1976/77 where he died, and where her brother, father, and uncle were also sent. She stated her son died from disease. 

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