As the former head of state for the Khmer Rouge, Khieu Samphan, 也称为 “Brother Number Four,” occupied a number of key roles as the government tortured, starved and killed its people.
After the regime’s fall he took over as head of the movement and became its public face as it sought international credibility. He was arrested in 2007, and during his trial, expressed some remorse but claimed he was merely a figurehead and was not aware of the full extent of the atrocities.
At the hearing on Thursday, Khieu Shamphan said his duty as president was ensuring national sovereignty and independence from Vietnam, whose invasion toppled the ultra-Maoist regime.
Most of the victims died in labor camps or were bludgeoned to death in mass executions. Many were intellectuals or trained professionals — people considered counter-revolutionaries by the Khmer Rouge leadership bent on turning Cambodia into a purely agrarian society through ruthless social engineering policies.
Guilty verdicts have so far been reached by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia against three former top regime members, but several have died while on trial or before indictments were made.
Pol Pot, the architect of the “Year Zero” revolution that sought to create a peasant utopia, 死在 1998.
Khieu Samphan appealed his conviction on evidentiary and procedural grounds. He said the Cambodian people should know he was not to blame.
“Many years of sitting as the defendant, at the end of this long case, it is important for me to inform you and especially inform the Cambodian people that I have never wanted to commit a crime against my compatriots or against anyone else,” 他说.
“No matter what you will decide, I will die in prison, I will die always remembering the suffering of my Cambodian people.”