The international co-investigating judge at Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge tribunal laid extra charges on the former deputy secretary of the regime’s Central Zone on Monday.
Judge Michael Bohlander extended the allegations against Ta An to include genocide of the Cham Muslim people. This marks the second instance in which an alleged genocide of Cambodia’s Muslim population has been investigated.
Former International Co-Investigating Judge, Mark Harmon charged Ta An with premeditated homicide and crimes against humanity committed at three execution and security centre sites in March 2015. Judge Bohlander expanded the list of crimes, too.
The charges of crimes had occurred at 13 sites, “and at various locations around Kampong Cham province,” according to the statement released by the court on Monday on behalf of Judge Bohlander.
“Murder, extermination, enslavement, imprisonment, torture; persecution against the so-called ‘17 April people’, former Lon Nol soldiers, Central [Old North] Zone cadres [...] forced marriage, rape, enforced disappearances, physical abuse, forced labour, and inhumane conditions of detention” are among the crimes Ta An is accused of.
There are witnesses who testified that they had been forced to cut their hair and eat pork. They had also been forbidden from praying and reading the Quran. Some people have also testified that Chams were taken away and executed.
There are also other cases in which Ta Tith and Im Chaem are charged with crimes against humanity, but both are opposed by the Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.
The current case the court is hearing is the one in which former head of state Khieu Samphan and “brother number two” Nuon Chea are charged with genocide of the Chams and Vietnamese. They appealed to the Supreme Court Chamber last month after being convicted of crimes against humanity.