Tuol Po Chrey execution site

[Paragraph number refers to the the paragraph number in the Case 002 Closing Order (Indictment). For editorial purposes, footnote reference have been omitted from this web version]

Disclaimer: The paragraphs below from the Closing Order contain allegations of crimes. All allegations must be proven through adversial trial proceedings, and cannot be taken as facts unless these facts have been confirmed through a final judgement.


Location and Establishment
698. The Tuol Po Chrey execution site was operational intermittently from late April 1975 to approximately 1977 during which large-scale killings of the ex-military and civilian population were carried out.

699. Located on an area of elevated ground,  the site was close to the western moving shores of Boeng Tonle Sap,  close to Kdei Chhvit Village, Sre Dok Subdistrict of Kandieng District in Pursat Province. According to the CPK’s system of identifying administrative boundaries, Tuol Po Chrey was located in Kandieng District, Sector 7, Northwest Zone.

700. The Tuol Po Chrey execution site included a former Khmer Republic military fort (also known as the Po Village Fort). Located approximately 4 kilometres from Tuol Po Chrey was a smaller lake which was also a killing site into which bodies were dumped.

Structure and Personnel
701. The Northwest Zone Committee Secretary was Muol Sambat (alias Ta Nhim alias Ruos Nheum alias Moul Un) until his arrest by Southwest Zone cadre in mid 1978 and replacement as Northwest Zone Secretary by Ta Mok.  Vice Chairman of the Northwest Zone was Kung Sophal alias Ta Keu, himself arrested and transferred to S-21 in November 1978.

702. A Northwest Zone Military Division Commander was Ta Khleng whose division captured the town of Pursat Ta Khi was the Secretary of Kandieng District and the Deputy Secretary was Ta San. Ta Mao was on the Committee for Kandieng District. Ta Sot alias Ke Kim Huot was the Secretary of Sector 7 and Ta Tuoy was Deputy Secretary. Ta Sot would later be arrested and transferred to S-21 in July 1977, as was Ta Tuoy.

703. As reported by witnesses, regular meetings were held in 1976 between high ranking CPK cadre including the zone, district and sector committee secretaries as well as the unit chiefs in the subdistricts and the chiefs of the cooperatives. Witness evidence supports that Nuon Chea convened two or three times these meetings and prepared the plans to purge internal enemies, which included placing spies inside the districts to report to the District and Sector Committees. Based on these reports, the Sector Committees would make arrests in the Districts and Subdistricts. Witness testimony supports the personal attendance of Nuon Chea at these meetings.

Arrest, Transfer and Execution at Tuol Po Chrey Execution Site
704. Tuol Po Chrey functioned from 1975 through to 1977, and there appear to have been a number of killings through this period.

Former Lon Nol Officers and Officials
705. Immediately following the fall of Phnom Penh, CPK cadre moved in and took full control of Pursat Province and the regional area where Tuol Po Chrey was located. Pursat Province fell to the CPK on 19 April 1975 and in the days shortly thereafter a meeting was called summoning the Pursat provincial governor, soldiers and civil servants of the former Khmer Republic government to the Pursant provincial office; the subject of which was an “invitation to receive the Angkar at Tuol Po Chrey”. CPK soldiers were deployed around the provincial headquarters to prevent attendees from escaping.

706. Witness testimony supports that “all former officers” of the regime were summoned to the meeting.

707. Present at this meeting were Ta Nhim and Ta Kan (from the Northwest Zone Committee), Ta Sot (from the Sector 7 Committee). Also present was Ta Tuoy (the Deputy Secretary of Sector 7), [REDACTED] (the Deputy Secretary of Kandieng District), and Ta Mao (from the Kandieng District Committee). According to one former CPK cadre, Ta Nhim and Ta Sot had given the orders that “all dignitaries, both military and policemen, from Lon Nol regime had to be killed. If we kept them [alive], there would be resistance in the later time so they all had to be executed. The soldiers who took the [Lon Nol] military and policemen to be killed were only soldiers from Zone and Sector”.

708. The victims arrived at the provincial headquarters compound by their own accord.3048 It was estimated that approximately three thousand were gathered in the compound to attend this meeting.

709. The victims were deceived, being told that they were going to undergo study to be then reintegrated into the army at their previous ranks or higher. This was announced to the assembled crowd via loudspeakers. As a consequence, the former Khmer Republic participants left the meeting happy and undisturbed having been made this promise and that they would be given an opportunity to meet King Sihanouk. The victims were then transported by large trucks to the fort at the Tuol Po Chrey execution site. Each truck carried approximately 30-40 people and witnesses estimate there were approximately 30-40 trucks making the trip. There were not enough trucks to transport all the victims at once so a number of round-trips had to be made. This operation was carried out by troops of Sector Battalion 201 and Northwest Zone Battalion 24. Ta Khleng, is said to have personally participated in this operation.

710. Victims were killed immediately upon arrival.3057 The CPK soldiers spent the whole day shooting the victims, lasting from morning to evening.

711. The victims were buried in a series of large pits, each containing numerous bodies and were 10 square metres. Bulldozers were used to bury the victims and corpses were piled on top of each other. Khmer Republic army uniforms were found next to the pits. The victims had their hands tied behind their backs and were tied together in lines. The bodies were covered in blood and gunshot wounds were seen on the bodies with some being shot in the head and others in the chest. Witness estimates as to the number of victims range from 2,000 up to approximately 3,000 corpses.