Khmer Rouge chief defends regime in video

2011-11-22 09:19
Phnom Penh - A top Khmer Rouge leader on trial at Cambodia's war crimes court was on Tuesday confronted with dramatic footage in which he defends the regime's bloody purges and calls the victims "traitors".

Prosecutors say the clip from the 2009 documentary Enemies of the People shows the 1970s movement had a policy of killing enemies and those it regarded as disloyal.

Nuon Chea, seen as the regime's chief ideologue, showed no emotion as the short clip of him was shown on the second day of opening statements in the trial at the UN-backed court in Phnom Penh.

"Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea and two other defendants all deny charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for the deaths of up to two million people during the Khmer Rouge's 1975-79 reign of terror.

"To this day, Nuon Chea insists that the people they murdered... were all enemies or traitors," said international co-prosecutor Andrew Cayley of the mass executions.

‘Our decision was the right one’

He showed the packed courtroom and public gallery a scene from the award-winning film in which Nuon Chea tells a Cambodian journalist why there were so many purges.

"If these traitors were alive, the Khmers as a people would have been finished so I dare to suggest our decision was the right one," he said calmly on camera.

"If we had shown mercy to the people, the nation would have been lost."

Also on trial are former foreign minister Ieng Sary and former head of state Khieu Samphan.

Their long-awaited case, the tribunal's second and most important, is seen as vital to healing wounds in the still-traumatised nation.

Missing from the courtroom is the fourth accused Ieng Thirith - the regime's "First Lady" and the only female leader to be charged by the court - after she was ruled unfit for trial last week because she has dementia.

Elderly accused


Led by "Brother Number One" Pol Pot, who died in 1998, the Khmer Rouge emptied cities, abolished money and religion and wiped out nearly a quarter of Cambodia's population in a bid to create an agrarian utopia.

Owing to fears that not all of the accused, who are in their 80s and suffer from various medical ailments, will live to see a verdict, the court recently split their complex case into a series of smaller trials.

But during opening statements this week the prosecution and the defence may address all of the accusations against the three.

On Tuesday, Cayley said convicted Khmer Rouge prison chief Duch, who was sentenced to 30 years in jail last year for overseeing the deaths of some 15,000 people in the tribunal's first case, would be a key witness to support his evidence of the "smashing" of perceived enemies by the paranoid regime.
- SAPA
Read more on:    khmer rouge  |  cambodia  |  war crimes
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.