Ieng Sary
Ieng Sary

Like many other members of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, Ieng Sary was educated in Paris during the 1950's on a government scholarship. While in Paris, Sary made important connnections to future members of the party and began to be drawn to Communist theory. Sary returned to Cambodia after his studies but fled in 1963 for the east Cambodian jungles. After the Khmer Rouge gained power in 1975, Sary served as deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs.

In 1979, after the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, Sary fled to the Thai border where he continued to serve as minister in charge of foreign affairs. Sary was officially pardoned by King Norodom Sihanouk in 1996 when he became the first senior official to defect from the regime. From 1996 to 2007 Sary lived in relative peace in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Phen. On November 12th, 2007, Sary and his wife were arrested as part of the Cambodian tribunal. The pair are charged with war crimes against humanity. The trials are set to begin in 2008.

 

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