Case 002 Witnesses, experts and Civil Parties

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

Mr. LACH Mean

Lach Mean was called as a witness to testify on the functioning of S-21.

Lach Mean was recruited as a Khmer Rouge militia member in 1974 before becoming a soldier. In 1975, he was sent for training at the military technical school at Ta Khmau. He was then assigned to work as a guard at Ta Khmau prison and later on at Dam Pheng prison in Phnom Penh. When this prison was relocated to S-21, he worked there as a guard and typist. In late 1978 he as transferred to the interrogation unit where he received training under the supervision of Kak.

 

As a witness, Lach Mean described the working conditions at S-21, reporting that S-21 staff disappeared on a regular basis. He described the detention conditions as well as the interrogation sessions, which aimed to extract information from the prisoners and identify their networks. His training to become an interrogator consisted of observing his supervisor interrogate detainees. He told the Trial Chamber that he was only assigned to interrogate ordinary detainees and was not permitted to inflict torture upon them. He acknowledged before the Chamber that he personally interrogated only three to four detainees. He testified on the torture methods used at S-21, such as beating prisoners with a guava tree stick and applying electroshocks to their ears. As an interrogator at S-21, he recalled meeting the Accused on a daily basis.

 

A lawyer assisted Lach Mean in case an issue of self-incrimination arose.

 

Transcript of proceeding "DUCH" Trial - 03 August 2009, Transcript of proceeding "DUCH" Trial - 04 August 2009
Ms. Chin Met

Chin Met filed a Civil Party application on the basis of her internment at S-24 and on behalf of her colleagues of Division 450 who died under the Khmer Rouge regime.

Chin Met told the Trial Chamber how she was forcibly recruited by the Khmer Rouge army as a teenager. In 1976 she was assigned to rice farming before being transferred to a rubber factory in mid to late 1977. In her testimony, Chin Met recounted her arrest in November 1977 at the age of 19. She was transferred to a detention facility that she cannot identify, as she was blindfolded while being relocated. There she was interned for 15 days and was interrogated and tortured three times. She was then transferred to S-24 for re-education. She described the extremely hard conditions of forced labor, malnutrition, and the constant need to meet work targets. She spoke of her despair, which led her to attempt to commit suicide. She recalled her constant fear and exhaustion, all of which have left her with emotional problems and physical scarring.

Transcript of proceeding "DUCH" Trial - 08 July 2009
Professor David Chandler

David Chandler is an Emeritus Professor at Monash University, and holds degrees from Harvard, Yale and Michigan Universities.He has authored a number of books relating to the Democratic Kampuchea period and S-21 and was called as an expert in Case 001. Unlike that case, where Professor Chandler testified at length regarding the day-to-day operations of S-21, his testimony in Case 002/01 was instead sought principally for an analysis of the policies that established S-21 and the broad purpose and function of security centres (and S-21 in particular) in Democratic Kampuchea.

[Corrected 1] Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002 - Trial Day 84, Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002 - Trial Day 83, Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002 - Trial Day 82, Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002 - Trial Day 81, Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002 - Trial Day 80, Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002 - Trial Day 79
Mr. Stephane Hessel

Stephane Hessel, aged 91, a former French resistance fighter who was deported to a Nazi concentration camp, was called by the Defense in order to contribute as an expert on the issue of forgiveness. After the war, he took part in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 alongside Rene Cassin and worked toward French-German reconciliation in post-war Europe. As an expert, Mr. Hessel told the Trial Chamber that it is essential not to expect forgiveness from the victims while moving toward reconciliation at the national level. He underlined that it is a right of the victims to reject any type of forgiveness after the judgment. He elaborated on the concept of reconciliation, which he defined not as forgiveness of the victims, but as the process of building up a peaceful nation, which can only be done once impunity ends. He argued that the sine qua non condition for reconciliation is that all facts must be known: "the concept of reconciliation should go hand in hand with the concept of truth". 

Transcript of Proceedings - “DUCH” Trial (Trial Day 71)
Christopher LAPEL

Pastor Christopher Lapel was called as a witness to testify on the character of the Accused and more specifically, on the significance and sincerity of the Accused’s religious faith.

Pastor Lapel first met the Accused under the name of Hang Pin in December 1995 at Chamkar Samraong, Battambang, when the Accused joined his church. The Accused was baptised on 6 January 1996 and after a two-week course, returned to his home area to serve as a lay pastor of a community comprising fourteen families. According to Pastor Lapel, the Accused converted of his own free will. He told the Trial Chamber that his baptism had changed the Accused from a sad man living without peace, joy, or purpose in life to "a man with a serving heart", who cared about "shar[ing] the word of God".

Pastor Lapel only learnt of the Accused's past in April 1999 when he was phoned by an AP journalist from Bangkok. The Accused had never shared his past with him. He had only told Pastor Lapel that he had sinned to such an extent that he could not think he could be forgiven. Pastor Lapel was surprised to learn that the Accused had been the Chairman of S-21, but at the same time he was "rejoiced [Ö] to see a man that God [Ö] change[d] from a killer to a believer". Pastor Lapel himself lost close friends at S-21, but told the Chamber that as a "true believer" he had forgiven the Accused and was able to find peace and joy through this act of forgiveness: "I love [him], I hate what [he] has done. [Ö] I hate sin, not the sinners".

 

Transcript of proceeding "DUCH" Trial - 15 September 2009
Justice Richard Joseph Goldstone

Justice Richard Goldstone, 70, visiting professor of law at Frodham University, was called as an expert to testify on issues relating to guilty pleas in international criminal tribunals. Justice Goldstone told the Trial Chamber that three important aspects were to be taken into account when determining the sentence: the nature of the crime, the interest of victims, and the interests of society. For the more general interests of society, he said that "due importance must be given to the importance of an open and sincere admission of guilt, and especially if itís accompanied by a genuine apology to the victims and expressions of remorse". Justice Goldstone submitted that there were three important aspects of an acceptance of guilt and responsibility. First, he pointed out that the public acknowledgment of the gravity of the crimes by an official source is important for the victims. Second, he described that an acceptance of guilt was an essential element in ending fabricated denial. Third, he stated that an acknowledgment of guilt could influence others to come before the Tribunal and similarly admit their responsibility. During his testimony, he underlined the fact that any question of mitigation must be "secondary to the seriousness of the crimes committed and the interest of the victims."

Transcript of Proceedings - “DUCH” Trial (Trial Day 70)
Mr. Raoul Marc Jennar

Raoul Marc Jennar, 63, a consultant in the field of international relations, was called to testify as an expert on issues relating to practical and theoretical foundations and operations of the Democratic Kampuchea (DK) regime of terror. During his testimony, Mr. Jennar identified three foundations of terror as a DK method of government. First, he described the culture of violence in Cambodia, which was internally sustained by the violent repression of opposition since the country's independence in 1953 and externally exacerbated by the American bombings. Second, he pointed out the political culture of the DK leaders: strongly influenced by a Bolshevik conception and a Stalinist practice of communism, they adopted an iron discipline and eliminated doubtful elements. Third, Raoul Jennar mentioned the specificities of Pol Pot's unique interpretation of the Marxist-Leninist doctrine accentuated state terrorism.  Mr. Jennar told the Trial Chamber that he accepted the statement of the Accused as being simultaneously "a servant and a hostage" of the Khmer Rouge system, as he considered that nobody under such a regime disposed of a margin for maneuver . He further argued that the leaders at the highest level should shoulder, first and foremost, the greatest responsibility. He underlined the existence of other DK security centers, arguing that the directors of the centers in which a higher number of victims were killed also qualified as those "most responsible" for DK crimes.

 

Transcript of Proceedings 14 September 2009- “DUCH” Trial (Trial Day 70)
PENG Poan

Peng Poan was called as a witness to testify on the character of the Accused.

Peng Poan knew the Accused as Hang Pin when he worked under this name as a teacher at Phkoam High School during the school years 1993 to 1995. The Accused was first recruited as a voluntary teacher in chemistry and physics for grades 7 and 8 before being officially recruited in late 1995. When the Accused was transferred to the district educational department after the robbery at his house, Peng Poan lost track of him.

As a character witness, Peng Poan described the Accused as a gentle and quiet person. According to him, the Accused did not show any signs of abnormality. He told the Chamber that the Accused was a remarkable teacher and loved by many students. They called him "Grandfather Teacher" in appreciation of his talent.

Peng Poan only learned that the Accused was the former Chairman of S-21 through a broadcast at the time of his arrest. He told the Trial Chamber that he was very shocked when he learned this news because he remembered the Accused as a normal teacher.

 

Transcript of Proceedings 02 September 2009 - “DUCH” Trial (Trial Day 69 )
HUN Smirn

Hun Smirn was called as a witness to testify on the character of the Accused.

Hun Smirn knew the Accused as Hang Pin from October 1996 to late February or early March 1997, when the Accused was assigned to work as a French teacher under his supervision at Phkoam High School. In February or March 1997, the Accused disappeared without any notice. It is only later that Hun Smirn, then director of Phkoam High School, learned that he had left for Samlaut.

As a character witness, Hun Smirn described the Accused as a generous, kind, and friendly teacher. The Accused was liked by everyone and entertained good relationships with staff, students, and school management. He was also solitary, quiet, and always seen reading his books alone after work. Hun Smirn recounted that his work was excellent and that he was always punctual and very attentive. This earned him the nickname "Kru Ta" or "grandfather teacher" from the students.

Hun Smirn told the Trial Chamber that he only learned of Hang Pinís criminal past at the time of his arrest in 1999 and was extremely surprised to learn this, stating, "Even today, it is extremely hard for me to take it that he was involved with so serious crimes in comparison to his teaching career at my school. It was a complete opposite. In his teaching career, he was so perfect". 

 

Transcript of Proceedings 02 September 2009 - “DUCH” Trial (Trial Day 69 )
TEP Sok

Tep Sok was called as a witness to testify on the character of the Accused.    

Tep Sok was a student of the Accused at Skun Junior High School in Kampong Cham during the school years 1966 to 1968.

As a character witness, Tep Sok described the Accused in those years as being a kind, gentle, and meticulous teacher. He was appreciated by all of his students. He did not have any bad habits and liked to present himself as such. As a teacher, the Accused would treat all students equally. Tep Sok recounted that he gave school supplies and private lessons free of charge to disadvantaged students including himself and that the Accused offered accommodation to poor students. The Accused also established a cooperative for students to be able to purchase school supplies at a cheap price. Tep Sok told the Trial Chamber that he believed it was in part thanks to the Accused that he was able to become a teacher himself and later a school principal.

Tep Sok learned about the role of the Accused under the Khmer Rouge regime only at the time of his arrest. He stated that he felt "regretful that such a man of virtue had become a criminal".

 

Transcript of Proceedings 01 September 2009 - “DUCH” Trial (Trial Day 70)
TEP Sem

Tep Sem was called as a witness to testify on the character of the Accused.

Tep Sem was a student of the Accused at Skun Junior High School in Kampong Cham during the school years 1965 to 1968. The Accused alternately taught his class mathematics, geometry, and Khmer literature.

As a character witness, Tep Sem described the Accused as a remarkable teacher who was humble, punctual, and gentle. He was attentive towards his students and this earned their respect. Tep Sem told the Trial Chamber that the Accused gave free individual lessons to disadvantaged students and treated students as equals. He recounted how at the end of class the Accused would briefly introduce communist ideology to his students, but would never explicitly encourage them to join the movement.

Transcript of Proceedings 02 September 2009 - “DUCH” Trial (Trial Day 69 )
CHOU Vin

Chou Vin was called as a witness to testify on the character of the Accused.

Chou Vin knew the Accused as Hang Pin from 1995 to 1997 when both were teachers at Phkoam High School in Svay Chek district. After the robbery at the house of the Accused during which his wife was killed, Chou Vin permitted him to stay at the educational department. The Accused then worked as personal assistant to him.

As a character witness, Chou Vin described the Accused as being a friendly, humble, hard-working, and meticulous teacher. Because he quickly became known as the best-educated and most experienced teacher in the school, the Accused was called "Kru Ta" or "grandfather teacher". He was appreciated by teachers and students alike.

Chou Vin told the Trial Chamber that he only learned of the criminal past of the Accused at the time of his arrest. He recounted that he was surprised to learn that the Accused held a senior position under the Khmer Rouge regime, as he had known him as an "elder, respectful person". The Accused had concealed his past from him and had stated in his application that he had worked on school curricula during Democratic Kampuchea.

Transcript of Proceedings 02 September 2009 - “DUCH” Trial (Trial Day 69 )
SOU Sath

Ms. Sou Sath was called as a witness to testify on the character of the Accused.

Sou Sath was a classmate of the Accused at Kampong Thom High School during the school years 1959 to 1961.The two were in the same study group.

As a character witness, Sou Sath described the Accused as a person of good character, a loyal, kind, generous, humble, and docile student. She told the Trial Chamber how she had noticed him because unlike others in the study class, the Accused would never conceal his knowledge, but would always be eager to share it with others. She further described him as a good and punctual student who was respectful to his teachers and supported others in their study, but who did not have many friends.

Sou Sath told the Trial Chamber that she could not have imagined that he would one day become Chairman of S-21. She learned this from the book The Lost Executioner, a reading which stunned and terrorized her.

Sou Sath asked permission to pay a short visit to the Accused after her testimony.

 

Transcript of Proceedings 02 September 2009 - “DUCH” Trial (Trial Day 69 )
Mr. Ka Sunbaunat

Ka Sunbaunat, 56, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Royal Phnom Penh University, was called as an expert to present a psychological assessment of the Accused conducted in 2008 with an update in August 2009.The experts testified that the Accused does not present any indication of mental or psychological disorder. They described him as a "dutiful person, readily influenced by [and] responding well to strong leadership", with a "need for affiliation, and for recognition and acknowledgement by his superiors". Marxist ideology satisfied his need for certainty and was subsequently replaced by Christianity.They described his psychological behavior as characterized by obsessional traits, pragmatic and mathematical reasoning, disempathy, and alexithymia. They noted that the Accused was able to construct powerful defence mechanisms insulating him from emotional reactions and inner conflicts created by his external reality, mechanisms which they described as ultimately enabling him to nurture his own family whilst overseeing the deaths of children at S-21. However, the experts also perceived the Accused's greater capacity for self-reflection regarding his life and actions as the investigation and trial progressed.The experts used a "geopolitical" method of assessment which analyses the articulation of both personal and collective history that was developed by Francoise Sironi-Guilbaud in her practice. During his testimony, Ka Sunbaunat highlighted the specific features of the Cambodian cultural context relevant to their assessment.Both experts stated that they believed that the Accused could be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society based on his past experiences and his present condition

 

Transcript of proceeding "DUCH" Trial - 31 August 2009
Ms. Francoise Sironi-Guilbaud

Francoise Sironi-Guilbaud, 51, Professor of Psychology at University of Paris 8, was called as an expert to present a psychological assessment of the Accused conducted in 2008 with an update in August 2009.The experts testified that the Accused does not present any indication of mental or psychological disorder. They described him as a ìdutiful person, readily influenced by [and] responding well to strong leadershipî, with a ìneed for affiliation, and for recognition and acknowledgement by his superiors.î Marxist ideology satisfied his need for certainty and was subsequently replaced by Christianity.They described his psychological behavior as characterized by obsessional traits, pragmatic and mathematical reasoning, disempathy, and alexithymia. They noted that the Accused was able to construct powerful defence mechanisms insulating him from emotional reactions and inner conflicts created by his external reality, mechanisms which they described as ultimately enabling him to nurture his own family whilst overseeing the deaths of children at S-21. However, the experts also perceived the Accusedís greater capacity for self-reflection regarding his life and actions as the investigation and trial progressed. The experts used a "geopolitical" method of assessment which analyses the articulation of both personal and collective history that was developed by Francoise Sironi-Guilbaud in her practice. In order to understand the Accused, she argued, it was necessary to take into account the weight of political, economical, historical, and cultural factors on his personality. Both experts stated that they believed that the Accused could be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society based on his past experiences and his present condition.

 

Transcript of Proceedings - “DUCH” Trial (Trial Day 67)
Chhim Sotheara

Dr. Chhim, 41, a psychologist and director of Cambodia PTO, was called to testify as an expert on the psychological impact of the Khmer Rouge regime. He detailed the consequences regarding the mental and physical condition of family members of direct victims of S-21 and the nature of the trauma resulting from the knowledge of a relative's death. In addition to underlining the specificity of familial relationships within Cambodian culture, Dr. Chhim told the Trial Chamber that 40% of Cambodians over 18 years old have experienced or encountered symptoms of post-traumatic stress. He explained the possibility of trauma transmission to the next generation (secondary trauma), and detailed factors amplifying trauma such as poverty, daily interactions with perpetrators, or the absence of adequate mental health services. Dr. Chhim pointed out important factors for the healing of victims such as the disclosure of truth, justice, and the ability to forgive. He argued that the psychological healing of victims depends on the honesty and sincerity of the accused and the former leaders of Democratic Kampuchea. He further analysed the role of the ECCC in relieving victimsí psychological suffering, arguing that the tribunal can help deliver symbolic justice and reveal the truth. Although the risk of re-experiencing traumatic events is increased by the tribunal, if adequate help is provided, the tribunal can help victims to face their trauma. 

 

Transcript of proceeding "DUCH" Trial - 25 August 2009
TOUCH Monin Transcript of proceeding "DUCH" Trial - 24 August 2009
Ms. CHHIN Navy

Chhin Navy filed a Civil Party application on the basis of the death of her husband Tea Hav Tek. As a Civil Party, Chhin Navy told the Chamber about her life under the Khmer Rouge after the evacuation of Phnom Penh, as well as her husband's arrest. Tea Hav Tek, who used to work as chief of the Phnom Penh civil aviation unit, was arrested on 22 February 1976. He had been denounced by Chhin Navy's sister as being a "CIA agent". Chin Navy recounted how she discovered her husband's fate. After the fall of the Khmer Rouge in 1979, she returned to Phnom Penh with her children. She wanted to be near her husband's former workplace so that he could find her in case he returned. She was working at the 7 January Hospital when she visited the Tuol Sleng genocidal museum as part of a staff trip in 1980. There she was told by Him Oeng Pech that her husband had been detained at S-21 and executed on 25 May 1976. Chhin Navy told the Trial Chamber that she feels betrayed by the Khmer Rouge. Chhin explained that she could understand why her elder sister denounced her husband, as she was indoctrinated by the Khmer Rouge. She described the feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, and despair that she has experienced since her husband's disappearance and the particular difficulties that she has suffered as a widow.

 

Transcript of proceeding "DUCH" Trial - 24 August 2009
Mr. CHUM Sirath

Chum Sirath was a Civil Party in Case 001 on the basis of having suffered from the loss of his two brothers, Chum Sinareth and Chum Narith, as well as of his sister-in-law Kem Sovannary. When the Khmer Rouge seized power in 1975, Chum Sirath was abroad in Geneva, where he had been working as a representative for a Cambodian telecommunications company since November 1974. As a Civil Party, Chum Sirath told the Trial Chamber about his search for the truth concerning his brothers' fate. He discovered that Chum Narith, his wife Kem Sovannary, and their young child were arrested and transferred to S-21 on 29 October 1976. Chum Narith was executed on 1 January 1977. Chum Narith, who was outspoken, was arrested because he had openly criticized the collectivization plan of the Khmer Rouge. Chum Sirath was not able to find information on the fate of his other brother Chum Sinareth, except for a photo taken at S-21. Chum Sirath described the constant dilemma he feels between the obligation to remember his siblings' suffering and the effort to forget as an obligation to the survivors with whom he lives today.  During his testimony, Chum Sirath rejected Duch's self-depiction as someone working without concern for his own suffering, referring to the French poem Duch had quoted. He also criticized Duch's apology as not being genuine.

Transcript of proceeding "DUCH" Trial - 20 August 2009
Mr. OU Savrith

Ou Savrith testified from France via video conference. He filed a Civil Party application on the basis of the death of his elder brother Ou Vindy at S-21. He joined as a Civil Party to the proceedings in order to seek the truth concerning his brother's arrest, detention, and execution. Ou Savrith also spoke on behalf of his sister-in-law, his niece, whose letter he read during his testimony, and his other relatives. Ou Savrith's brother Ou Vindy was a graduate of the Phnom Penh National Administration School. He worked as an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Long Boret. Under the Khmer Rouge, he was arrested on 13 February 1976 and executed on 7 January 1976. Since he had left for France in 1973 for his studies, Ou Savrith was unable to find his brother's name in a list of persons arrested in S-21 until late 1979. As a Civil Party, Ou Savrith expressed the intense sorrow incited by the loss of his brother and by the many unanswered questions which have been haunting him since his death. Ou Savrith asked the Accused questions regarding the date of his brother's entry to S-21, his treatment there, and whether he was tortured.

Transcript of proceeding "DUCH" Trial - 20 August 2009
Ms. CHUM Neou

Chum Neou filed a Civil Party application on the basis of her personal suffering as a detainee at S-24, as well as on the basis of the deaths of her baby and of her husband, Nour Moeun. Chum Neou joined the proceedings as a Civil Party in order to seek justice and collective and moral reparations. During her testimony, Chum Neou told the Trial Chamber that it was the first time in 32 years that she had spoken about these events. She recounted how she had joined the revolution willfully in 1971, but now felt betrayed by the Khmer Rouge. Her husband was arrested and sent to S-21 on 9 August 1977. While working in the General Staff Logistic Section in Phnom Penh, she was arrested on 12 August 1977. She was first sent to the S-21 reeducation site of Stueng Chrov. There she gave birth to her child who later died of starvation. Chum Neou recounted how she was then taken to S-24. She also described the difficult detention conditions she had to endure.

 

Transcript of proceeding "DUCH" Trial - 20 August 2009, Transcript of proceeding "DUCH" Trial - 24 August 2009
IM Sunty alias Moch Transcript of Proceedings - "Duch" Trial - 19 August 2009
PHUNG Guth Sunthary Transcript of Proceedings - "Duch" Trial - 19 August 2009
Mr. SEANG Vandy

Seang Vandy was a Civil Party in Case 001, having suffered from the loss of his younger brother Seang Phon, who was executed at S-21. Seang Vandy filed a Civil Party application to search for justice, make a claim for reparations, and to preserve the memory of his brother Seang Phon. Seang Vandy followed Prince Norodom Sihanoukís appeal to join the Khmer Rouge in the early 1970ís. His two younger brothers, Seang Phon and Seang Phat, were forced to join the Khmer Rouge army in 1973. They never returned. In late 2007 or early 2008, Seang Vandy learned through DC-Camís magazine Searching for the Truth that Seang Phon was arrested on 2 October 1977 and brought to S-21 where he was killed. There Seang Phon found two records of his confessions. As a Civil Party, Seang Vandy told the Trial Chamber about his suffering and that of his family since the disappearance of his brother Seang Phon. Since he discovered the fate of his brother, he has not been able to sleep well and experiences despair and hopelessness.

Seang Vandy put the following questions to the Accused: "Did he know his brother as an S-21 detainee?" "Did he read and annotate his brothersí confessions?" "How can the Accused claim that he is a patriotic person and that he followed the political line if he killed Khmer nationals?"

 

Transcript of Proceedings - "Duch" Trial - 19 August 2009
SO Saung Transcript of proceeding "DUCH" Trial - 18 August 2009

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