Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Monday, June 7, 1999 Published at 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK


World: Asia-Pacific

Life sentence for Khmer Rouge leader

Murdered: Mark Slater and Jean Michel Brequet

A former Khmer Rouge commander has been sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of the kidnap and murder of three western tourists five years ago.

The convicted man, Nuon Paet, is the first senior Khmer Rouge leader to have faced trail in Cambodia.

Briton Mark Slater, Australian David Wilson, Frenchman Jean Michele Braquet and 13 Cambodians were abducted from a train travelling to Cambodia's south coast during an ambush by Khmer Rouge troops in the summer of 1994.

Ten Cambodians were killed during the attack on the train.

The foreigners, all in their twenties, were killed several months later, after negotiations for their release broke down.

'Under orders'


[ image: Nuon Paet says the killings were ordered by his superiors]
Nuon Paet says the killings were ordered by his superiors
Nuon Paet, told the court in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, that the killings were ordered by his superior, Sam Bith, who is now an army general.

The prosecutor said he had received cabinet approval to charge the general and another former Khmer Rouge commander, Chouk Rin, if sufficient evidence emerged from the trial.

The two men were in the courtroom at the time having been summoned as witnesses in the case against Nuon Paet.

The trial has been seen as an important test case for the Cambodian judicial system and the ability of the courts to act impartially and independently.

Fresh concerns over fairness have been raised because of the brevity of the trial. Proceedings lasted less than a day.

Reign of terror

Two other senior Khmer Rouge leaders, military chief, Ta Mok, and the former head of the movement's secret police, Duch, are under arrest awaiting trial.

Others however are living freely within Cambodia under surrender deals negotiated with the government.

An estimated 1.7 million people were killed during the movement's reign of terror.

The BBC's Phnom Penh Correspondent Caroline Gluck says international legal experts doubt that the Cambodian courts are up to the job of trying the group's former leaders.

The government, which has rejected an international tribunal, has asked the UN to help in drafting a law to create a special tribunal.

This would allow for foreign judges and lawyers to participate in trials of Khmer Rouge leaders in a Cambodian court.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia



Relevant Stories

14 May 99 | Asia-Pacific
Cambodia's chief executioner charged

10 May 99 | Asia-Pacific
UN official to meet Khmer Rouge killer

06 Mar 99 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Bringing the Khmer Rouge to justice

21 Jul 98 | Asia-Pacific
Cambodia's troubled history

01 Aug 98 | Asia-Pacific
Cambodian police arrest tourists' killer





Internet Links


Legacy of the Khmer Rouge

Cambodia Web

Cambodian Genocide Programme


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Indonesia rules out Aceh independence

DiCaprio film trial begins

Millennium sect heads for the hills

Uzbekistan voices security concerns

From Business
Chinese imports boost US trade gap

ICRC visits twelve Burmese jails

Falintil guerillas challenge East Timor peackeepers

Malaysian candidates named

North Korea expels US 'spy'

Holbrooke to arrive in Indonesia

China warns US over Falun Gong

Thais hand back Cambodian antiques