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Thursday, 16 April, 1998, 21:07 GMT 22:07 UK
'Killing Fields' actor's murderers convicted
killing fields
Ngor survived the killing fields but not the streets of LA
A court in the United States has convicted three men of murdering the Cambodian activist and Oscar-winning "Killing Fields" actor Haing Ngor in Los Angeles.

Ngor created a new life in America as an actor and campaigner
The verdicts on the killers of the most famous survivor of the Khmer Rouge's genocidal rule were delivered as the world received final confirmation of the death of the former Cambodian dictator Pol Pot.

Three separate juries found Jason Chan, 20, Indra Lim and Tak Sun Tan, both 21, guilty of first-degree murder.

Prosecutors said the three members of the Oriental LazyBoy gang killed Haing Ngor for money to buy drugs.

The defendants were tried before separate juries because some evidence did not apply to all three. The verdicts were not read until all the juries had reached a decision.

Senseless crime

The court heard the three men approached Ngor outside his Los Angeles apartment in February 1996 and stole his $6,000 Rolex watch at gunpoint.

When Ngor refused to give up a gold locket containing his late wife's photo they shot him.

Ngor devoted much of his time to helping other Cambodian refugees
Ngor, who was a gynaecologist and medical officer in his homeland, spent four years in captivity under Pot's brutal regime in the 1970s.

His wife and father died, and he was tortured and deprived of food and water before he escaped to Thailand. He came to the United States in 1980 and dedicated himself to helping other Cambodians.

Ngor won an Oscar for best supporting actor for his role as New York Times photojournalist Dith Pran in the 1984 film "The Killing Fields" which depicted the horrors of the Pot regime.

See also:

17 Apr 98 | Despatches
Confronting the killing fields
24 Jul 98 | Cambodia
Pol Pot: Profile of a killer
16 Apr 98 | Asia-Pacific
Pol Pot dead
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