Ieng Sary (Khmer: អៀង សារី; 24 October 1925 – 14 March 2013) was a co-founder of the Khmer Rouge. He was the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Democratic Kampuchea from 1975 to 1979 and held several senior positions in the Khmer Rouge until his defection to the government in 1996.
Ieng Sary was born in Nhan Hoa village, which is located in the subdistrict of Luong Hoa (also known as Loeung Va in Khmer), Châu Thành District, Trà Vinh Province, southern Vietnam in 1925. His father, Kim Riem was a Khmer Krom while his mother Tran Thi Loi, was a Chinese immigrant who moved to Vietnam with her parents when she was a little girl. Sary changed his name from the Vietnamese Kim Trang when he joined the Khmer Rouge. He was the brother-in-law by marriage of the Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot (real name: Saloth Sar). Sary and Saloth Sar studied at Phnom Penh's Lycée Sisowath where their future wives, the sisters Khieu Thirith and Khieu Ponnary also studied. Before leaving Cambodia to study in Paris, Sary was engaged to Khieu Thirith.
Sary and Saloth Sar also studied together in Paris. Whilst there, Sary rented an apartment in the Latin Quarter, a hotbed of student radicalism. He and Saloth Sar met with French communist intellectuals, and formed their own cell of Cambodian communists.
After the fall of the Khmer Republic on 17 April 1975, Sary made personal appeals to expatriates to help rebuild Cambodia. However upon returning to Cambodia, they were arrested on arrival, and thrown into brutal detention centres. Together with Pol Pot, Ieng Sary was sentenced to death in absentia after the Khmer Rouge had been overthrown in 1979.
Arrest and trial
Ieng Sary, reportedly living in "an opulent Phnom Penh villa surrounded by security guards and barbed wire" was arrested on 12 November 2007 in Phnom Penh on an arrest warrant from the Cambodia Tribunal for war crimes and crimes against humanity. His wife, Ieng Thirith, was also arrested for crimes against humanity.
On 16 December 2009, the tribunal officially charged him with genocide for his involvement with the subjugation and murder of Vietnamese and Muslim minorities in Cambodia.
Sary died in Phnom Penh on 14 March 2013 at the age of 87, before the case against him could be brought to a verdict. He had heart problems for years as well as other ailments. He was taken from his holding cell at the special tribunal to a hospital on 4 March 2013 for what his lawyers said were gastrointestinal problems. Sary's body was transported to his home in Banteay Meanchey province. The body lay for seven days before being cremated. At the time of his death, Sary was on trial for his involvement in the Khmer Rouge. Elisabeth Simonneau Fort, a lawyer for the victims, said "For the victims, this death narrows the scope of the trial and limits their search for truth and justice".
- Kim Keo Kanitha, Choung Sphearith and Long Dany. Magazine of the Documentation Center of Cambodia–Ieng Sary's Brief Biography (Special English Edition, April 2003). p. 8. Retrieved 2012-06-23.
- Bora, Touch. "Jurisdictional and Definitional Issues". Khmer Institute. Retrieved 2007-11-19.
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- BBC News, Top Khmer Rouge diplomat in court. 30 June 2008
- Peter H. Maguire. Facing Death in Cambodia. New York: Columbia University Press. 2005. p. 101, 103.
- The Statesman
- Ed Johnson and Paul Tighe, "Khmer Rouge Foreign Minister Arrested in Cambodia", Bloomberg L.P., 12 November 2007.
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- "Genocide charges for two former Khmer Rouge Leaders"
- "Ieng Sary, Khmer Rouge Leader Tied to Genocide, Dies at 87". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- "Khmer Rouge Founder Ieng Sary Dies". Radio Free Asia. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "KIeng Sary, minister for Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, dies". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 15 March 2013.