Foreign minister,Ex DK cadre, says witness ‘stirring up controversy’
4/8/2012 PHNOM PENH (Cambodia Herald) – Foreign Minister Hor Namhong has indicated that Khmer Rouge tribunal witness Rochim Ton is ‘stirring up controversy’ by reviving claims that he collaborated with the Khmer Rouge regime while imprisoned between 1975 and 1979.
The veteran diplomat has already successfully sued those who have accused him of being a Khmer Rouge prison chief at the Boeung Trabek re-education camp during the period.
“It is unfortunate that those who continue to defend the legacy of the Khmer Rouge regime seek, in the interest of their defense, to deflect attention from themselves and their cases, by way of stirring up controversy around public figures like myself,” he said in a statement dated Thursday.
“The Khmer Rouge regime is an epic tragedy that continues to haunt Cambodia’s people today.
“As a prisoner at Boeng Trabek re-education camp where I lost two sisters, their husbands, children and a niece as well as countless colleagues, I have nothing but sorrow and empathy for the victims and their families.
“Cambodians continue to suffer from the crimes of the Khmer Rouge even today. The Khmer Rouge not only destroyed a generation of Cambodian people but also, in many ways, a civilization. We are still rebuilding this civilization today.
“The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia is a court of law, and not a political forum, and I believe attempts to politicize the court or stir up controversy are inappropriate,” the foreign minister said.
“My greatest hope is that one day justice is done and the legacy of the Khmer Rouge is given its proper place in the dustbin of history — without defense or controversy.”