Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Khmer Rouge’s Ao An dies

Khmer Rouge’s Ao An dies

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Ao An, a former senior Khmer Rouge official and criminal suspect died at 87 in Battambang. Dara Vanthan DCCAM

Khmer Rouge’s Ao An dies

Ao An, a former senior Khmer Rouge official and suspect in Case 004/2 of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), died at the age of 87 in Battambang province, according to ECCC spokesperson Neth Pheaktra.

Pheaktra said Case 004/2 against An officially closed before the ECCC – commonly known as Khmer Rouge Tribunal – on August 10.

An was initially charged by the ECCC’s international co-prosecutors for genocide against the Cham people in Kampong Cham province, crimes against humanity, and violations of the 1956 Penal Code, namely premeditated homicide.

An was believed to be the secretary of Sector 41, also known as the Khmer Rouge’s Central Zone. He was also suspected of being a member of the Central Zone Committee and the deputy-secretary of the Central Zone from late 1977 to January 1979.

His case was controversial as the national co-investigating judge argued that An did not fall under the ECCC’s jurisdiction. They claimed An could not be considered one of the most responsible people for the atrocities committed or one of the top leaders of the Khmer Rouge and filed an appeal against the international co-investigating judge’s charges.

But the international co-investigating judge maintained that An did indeed fall under the ECCC’s jurisdiction as well as one of the people most responsible for committing atrocities.

Although the international co-investigating judge said they had sufficient evidence to prove their claims, Pheaktra said the case against An halted without a conviction anyway.

He said: “The Supreme Court Chamber had considered that although there was agreement concerning the number of victims in the Central Zone of Democratic Kampuchea, there was no agreement after 13 years of investigation about whether Ao An fell under the jurisdiction of the ECCC.”

Lor Chunthy, one of the Civil Party co-lawyers at the ECCC, said as per procedure, a case ends when the court halts proceedings without any objection from prosecutors.

Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Centre of Cambodia (DC-Cam), said An’s death should bring people together as Cambodia continues its journey to uphold the principles of human rights and prevent mass atrocities from returning.

“It is the responsibility of everyone, both the government and citizens,” he said.

In early September, Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, the former chief of the notorious Khmer Rouge S-21 Tuol Sleng security centre, died at 78. He was the first person to be convicted by the ECCC. Khieu Samphan is the last remaining former member of the Khmer Rouge to be convicted by the ECCC and serving time in its detention facility.

MOST VIEWED

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • First commercial gold mine online

    Australian miner Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd on June 21 began the commercial operation of its $120 million Okvau Gold Project in the northeastern province of Mondulkiri, becoming the Kingdom’s first gold producer. Located in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province’s Keo Seima district, the

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • Transport minister requests free trial of Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway

    The Ministry of Public Works and Transport held discussions with the company constructing the expressway from Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk province to allow drivers to test the road free of charge before an official toll is set. While inspecting the progress of its construction