Wednesday, October 26, 2005

KR Commander Arrest Follows Chirac Request

By Saing Soenthrith
The Cambodia Daily
Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Fugitive former Khmer Rouge commander Chhouk Rin was arrested on Tuesday near the Thai border in Oddar Meanchey province, National Military Police Commander Sao Sokha said.

Military police cooperated with Interior Ministry police in making the arrest, Sao Sokha said.

The arrest follows a request by French President Jacques Chirac for Chhouk Rin’s arrest during a Sept 21 meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen in Paris.

Chhouk Rin has been on the run since February, when the Supreme Court rejected his final appeal against a life sentence issued in 2002 for his role in the 1994 murders of three backpackers from Australia, Britain and France who were taken hostage following a train attack and later executed on Vine Mountain in Kampot province.

A cousin of Chhouk Rin, who asked not to be named, said from Kampot that he received information on Tuesday afternoon that Chhouk Rin was arrested by military police in the former Khmer Rouge stronghold of Anlong Veng, where Pol Pot died.

Chhouk Rin was arrested at 1pm and was flown by helicopter to Phnom Penh, where he was sent directly to Prey Sar prison with the permission of the Supreme Court, said an Interior Ministry source who asked to remain anonymous.

“Chhouk Rin ws arrested at his new house in Trapaing Prasat [district], where he wanted to become a farmer, while he was working on installing new windows,” said the cousin, who added that government forces handcuffed Chhouk Rin and then confiscated his motorbike.

While the arrest was taking place, Chhouk Rin threw his mobile phone into the grass, which a relative found after he was taken away, the cousin said. Relatives then contacted their kin in Kampot using the phone.

The cousin said Chhouk Rin is in good health and weighs 85 kg, adding that before relocating to the Thai border, he had been hiding on Vine Mountain.


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