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MUJESTIC

Aide to Khmer Rouge leader tells court of fear in ministry

12/08/12

Phnom Penh - A former aide to Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary told Cambodia's war crimes court Thursday that staff at the ministry operated in fear during the movement's rule between 1975 and 1979.

In testimony that at times contradicted a statement he provided to court investigators in 2007, Long Norin said he felt 'my turn would come' as ministry staff were taken away for 'study sessions,' a euphemism for their arrest and execution.

'In general Ieng Sary talked about the party lines,' Long Norin told the court of his former boss's speeches to staff. 'He did not talk about the arrests of people, but he talked about KGB, CIA, and everyone trembled when he talked about that.'

The UN-backed court began hearing evidence on Monday in its case against Ieng Sary and two other leaders of the ultra-Maoist movement, which is blamed for up to 2.2 million deaths.

Many were executed following the leadership's belief that foreign agencies were trying to undermine the revolution.

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