Ta Mok, Pol Pot’s henchman notorious for his brutality, dies with his secrets.
To most Cambodians, he was “The Butcher,” one of Pol Pot’s most ruthless henchmen and a man whose hands were stained perhaps more than any other with the blood of the Khmer Rouge’s 1.7 million victims. But in its final redoubt of Anlong Veng, the ultra-Maoist movement’s former military chief, Ta Mok, who died on Friday, was revered as little short of an idol.
Former top members of Cambodia’s notorious Khmer Rouge: former prime minister Khieu Samphan(top-L), former deputy Nuon Chea(top-R), former army chief of staff Ta Mok(bottom-L) and former foreign minister Ieng Sary(bottom-R). Ta Mok, known as “The Butcher” for his extreme brutality, died before he could be put on trial for the genocide of up to two million Cambodians.(AFP/File)
Fresh fears for Khmer Rouge trials
The death of Ta Mok, one of the main leaders of Cambodia’s brutal former Khmer Rouge regime, has confirmed the fears of long-time proponents of the country’s genocide trials. All along they have warned that delays in setting up the process would result in key defendants dying before they reached court.