vendredi, août 25, 2006

Heng Pov's Allegations

The Cambodia Daily
Friday, August 25, 2006

Government Should Properly Reply to Heng POV’s Allegations

Letter to the Editor

The allegations made over recent weeks by disgrac­ed former Municipal Po­lice Commissioner Heng Pov need to be properly answered by the Royal Gov­ernment of Cam­bodia if it does not wish to see its credibility further eroded and the international image of Cambo­dia tarnished even more.

Until now, the responses given by government spokesmen Khieu Kanharith and Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Soph­eak have not been serious and could be construed even as being irresponsible.

In this regard, such crimes as the grenade attack against a peaceful rally in Phnom Penh March 30, 1997, and the execu­tions of a number of Funcinpec generals and senior officials dur­ing the July 1997 coup constitute crimes against humanity.

The people of Cambodia would be right in demanding that these crimes be added onto the list of crimes against humanity to be in­vestigated by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.

These crimes are not unlike those committed by Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge and should thus not be treated differently.

Take for instance the execution of Interior Secretary of State Ho Sok.

According to a confidential US Embassy report, released to me by the US State Department under that country's freedom of in­formation legislation, on July 23, 1997, the then-US Ambassador to Cambodia. Kenneth Quinn, met with Sar Kheng, the deputy prime minister and minister of interior, to discuss events following the July 1997 uprising.

Sar Kheng told Ambassador Quinn that he “was sure that Ho Sok had been executed” and that as of that day (July 23, 1997), he had established a committee to conduct an investigation of the case.

Furthermore, Sar Kheng also commented that he had “Sus­pended the person from the Inte­rior Ministry who he considered most responsible for that action.”

The result of that investigation was never made public and the person suspended was soon reinstated on Prime Minister Hun Sen's instructions.

Similarly, Sar Kheng told the US ambassador that he was not sure if the other Funcinpec gen­erals had been killed while en­gaged in battle, or arrested and then executed. He agreed that all these cases needed to be investi­gated.

Until such time as the result of investigations on these atrocities are made public and those persons found guilty are punished accordingly, Cambodia, I am afraid, will not enjoy national reconciliation and stability and its government shall not be respect­ed by international public opinion.

Ambassador Julio Jeldres.
Chairman, Khmer Institute of Democracy,

Published by / Publié par Khemara Jati
Montreal, Quebec
August 25 Août, 2006