Likely Khmer Rouge witnesses go into hiding in Cambodia

12/07/2006 14:38:30 AEST

Several Cambodians expected to be key witnesses in the Khmer Rouge tribunal have gone into hiding amid fears of inadequate protection and confusion over the prosecution's scope.

Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, says two former prison guards have left their homes, while three others are reluctant to discuss their role at Tuol Sleng, the Khmer Rouge's main torture centre.

With the tribunal now under way to prosecute senior Khmer Rouge leaders, Youk Chhang says the guards, as well as many other former regime personnel, have become alarmed that they might also be put on trial.

Concerns have also been raised for the safety of victims testifying against former members of the Khmer Rouge now living among them.

Human Rights groups have warned lingering terror caused by the regime could discourage many from speaking out in court.

ABC Asia Pacific TV / Radio Australia

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