World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Former Khmer Rouge Leader Gets Medical Treatment

Former Khmer Rouge Leader Flown to Cambodian Capital for Medical Treatment

Former Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan has been flown to the Cambodian capital to receive medical treatment. Officials say he is not under arrest. But he is expected to be arrested and tried by the country's genocide tribunal for his role in the deaths of almost two million Cambodians in the 1970's.

The former Khmer Rouge head of state was flown to a Phnom Penh hospital by helicopter Wednesday from his home in the former rebel stronghold of Pailin, in northwestern Cambodia.

Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the medical evacuation, saying he does not want people to blame the government if the former revolutionary leader dies.

Khieu Samphan, who is 76, reportedly suffers from high blood pressure, and reports Wednesday said he hurt himself in a fall. One report says he suffered a stroke.

Reports from Pailin said he was preparing to seek treatment in Thailand, but the Cambodian authorities stopped him from leaving the country.

Cambodia's United Nations-backed genocide tribunal has been investigating the Khmer Rouge era, and has arrested other former high-ranking members of the organization in preparation for trial. Khieu Samphan is expected to be one of those arrested and tried.

But tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath said Wednesday that Khieu Samphan is not yet under arrest.

"In his case, the court did not issue any court warrant to arrest him yet, so we don't have comment," he said.

Khieu Samphan's hospitalization highlights fears that the aged former Khmer Rouge leaders could die before being brought to trial. The group's top leader, Pol Pot, died in 1998.

It is widely expected, however, that assuming he does survive, Khieu Samphan will be prosecuted for his role in the Khmer Rouge's brutal rule of Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. Up to two million people were executed or died of starvation, disease and overwork when the ultra-radical communist group tried to turn the country into a classless agrarian utopia.

A total of four former Khmer Rouge leaders are already in detention, and have been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The group's former foreign minister, Ieng Sary, and his wife, Ieng Tirith, were arrested on Monday. The regime's second in command, Noun Chea, was detained in September. And in July, the court arrested Duch, the head of the Khmer Rouge's notorious torture center in Phnom Penh.

The court says Duch's trial, the first to be heard by the international genocide tribunal, is scheduled to start at the end of November.


More: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news