Khieu Samphan

Khieu Samphan


Khieu Samphan received a bursary to study in France in 1955 and published his doctoral dissertation “Cambodia's economy and industrial development”. Upon his return to Cambodia, Khieu Samphan became a professor before being appointed Secretary of State for Trade in Sihanouk’s regime in 1962. Under threat from Sihanouk’s security forces, he allegedly went into hiding in 1967 and reemerged within the Khmer Rouge resistance in the early 1970s. In 1976 he was appointed Democratic Kampuchea’s Head of State. He succeeded Pol Pot after the latter retired as the official head of the Khmer Rouge in 1987, and represented Democratic Kampuchea at the 1989 International Conference on Cambodia in Paris. After pledging allegiance to the Cambodian government in 1998, he left the Khmer Rouge and lived in the north-western province of Pailin until being arrested in placed in provisional detention at the ECCC in November 2007.

Alias Hem
Date of Birth 28 July 1931
Place of Birth Svay Rieng
Arrested Date 19 November 2007
Defence counsel Mr. Kong Sam Onn (Cambodia), Mr. Arthur Vercken (France), Ms. Anta Guisse (France)
Position in Democratic Kampuchea Head of State (Chairman of the State Presidium) of Democratic Kampuchea.
Status of case Khieu Samphan has been indicted and sent to trial for Crimes against Humanity, Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Genocide, offences which are defined and punishable under Articles 4,5, 6, 29 (New) and 39 (New) of the Law on the Establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers as amended 27 October 2004.

The charges against Khieu Samphan have been separated (severed) into a series of at least two trials (Case 002/01 and case 002/02). The initial hearing in the trial was held 27-30 June 2011, and the substantive part of the trial in Case 002/01 commenced with opening statements on 21 November 2011, and ended with final statements on 31 Ocrober 2013. A judgement in Case 002/01 will be pronounced on 7 August 2014. The trial in Case 002/02 is expected to start later in 2014.
Key allegations

Khieu Samphan is alleged to be responsible, through his acts or omissions (committed via a joint criminal enterprise), for having planned, instigated, ordered, or aided and abetted, or being responsible by virtue of superior responsibility, for the following crimes committed between 17 April 1975 and 6 January 1979: 

  • Crimes against humanity (murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation imprisonment, torture, persecution on political, racial, and religious grounds and other inhumane acts)
  • Genocide, by killing members of the groups of Vietnamese and Cham 
  • Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 (wilful killing, torture or inhumane treatment, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, wilfully depriving a prisoner of war or civilian the rights of fair and regular trial, unlawful deportation or unlawful confinement of a civilian)
Case No.


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