Ieng Sary

The proceedings against Ieng Sary were terminated on 14 March 2013, following his death the same day.

Ieng Sary was a student at Collège Sisowath in Phnom Penh.

He received a scholarship to study in France at the Lycée Condorcet and at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, and became a member of the French Communist Party in 1951.

He is believed to have founded the Cercle marxiste des étudiants Khmers à Paris (Marxist Circle of Khmer students in Paris). Returning to Cambodia in 1957, Ieng Sary became a history professor at Collège Sisowath and an active member of the CPK.

He allegedly joined the Khmer Rouge in 1963. During the civil war of 1971–5, he participated in the Royal Government of the National Union of Kampuchea and was the special envoy of the National United Front of Kampuchea.

When the Khmer Rouge took control in 1975, Ieng Sary became Deputy Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs. He fled to Thailand when the regime fell in 1979, and was then convicted of genocide and sentenced to death in absentia by the People’s Revolutionary Tribunal of Phnom Penh.

He continued to assume his official functions within the government in exile, but transferred his title of Minister of Foreign Affairs to Khieu Samphan after the creation of the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea in 1982.

Ieng Sary left the Khmer Rouge with thousands of his followers in August 1996 in exchange for King Norodom Sihanouk granting him a royal pardon for his 1979 conviction and royal amnesty from prosecution under a 1994 law outlawing the Khmer Rouge.


Date of Birth
Place of birth
Loeung Va village in Tra Vinh Province (now part of Southern Vietnam)
Arrested date
Defence counsel
Ang Udom (Cambodia) & Michael G. Karnavas (USA)
Alleged Position in Democratic Kampuchea

Deputy Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs. Member of the Standing Committee and Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kampuchea.

Status of case

The proceedings against Ieng Sary were terminated on 14 March 2013, following his death the same day.

At the time of his death, Mr. Ieng was on trial on charges crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and genocide; offences which are defined and punishable under Articles 4,5, 6,29 (New) and 39 (New) of the Law on the Establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers as amended 27 October 2004.

The initial hearing in the trial was held 27-30 June 2011, and the substantive part of the trial commenced with opening statements on 21 November 2011.

Key indictment allegations

The Closing Order in Case 002 alleged that Ieng Sary was responsible through his acts or omissions (committed via a joint criminal enterprise), for having planned, instigated, ordered, or aided and abetted, or being responsible by virtue of superior responsibility, for the following crimes committed between 17 April 1975 and 6 January 1979:  

  • Crimes against humanity (murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation imprisonment, torture, persecution on political, racial, and religious grounds and other inhumane acts)
  • Genocide, by killing members of the groups of Vietnamese and Cham 
  • Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 (wilful killing, torture or inhumane treatment, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, wilfully depriving a prisoner of war or civilian the rights of fair and regular trial, unlawful deportation or unlawful confinement of a civilian)

As Ieng Sary died before the judicial proceedings against him was completed, no determination was made on his guilt or innocence on the charges brought against him.

Cases Case 002
Summary of judgement in Case 002/02 against NUON Chea and KHIEU Samphan n/a
Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002 - 18 July 2013 E1/226.1
Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/01 - 04 July 2013 E1/218.1
Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/01 - 29 May 2013 E1/198.1
Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/01 - 29 May 2013 E1/198.1
Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002៊/01 – 23 May 2013 - Trial Day 183 E1/196.1
Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002/01 - 21 May 2013 E1/194.1
Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002 - 07 May 2013 E1/190.1
Office of Administration interoffice memorandum entitled "Acknowledge receipt of report of the inquiry into the cause of death of IENG Sary" E270/2
Post mortem dismissal of IENG Sary’s immediate appeals E238/9/1/5
Request for correction on document E270/1 in English language E270/1/Corr-1
Certificate of Death of IENG Sary on 14 March 2013 E270
[Corrected 1] Termination of the proceedings against the accused IENG Sary E270/1
Order for Immediate Compliance with Rule 108 of the Internal Rules E238/9/1/4
Trial Chamber memorandum entitled "Postponement of Expert Testimony" E264/3
Response to the “Co-Prosecutors’ Request to Put Before the Chamber Two Letters by Amnesty International Addressed to KHIEU Samphan and IENG Sary” E265/1
Written record of proceedings in Case 002/01 - 04 March 2013 E1/174
Ieng Sary’s response to Co-prosecutors’ request to put before the chamber two letters by amnesty international addressed to Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary E265/2
Ieng sary’s response to co-prosecutors’ rule 93 request to open an investigation into the whereabouts of potential witness xxx(redacted) E266/1
Lead Co-Lawyers Response to Trial Chamber Directives on the Tendering Into Evidence of Civil Party Written Statements & Other Documents (with Confidential & Strictly Confidential Annexes) E223/2/7
Transcript of hearing on the substance in Case 002 – 04 March 2013 E1/174.1
Co-prosecutors’ rule 87(4) request to place photographs on the case file which are relevant to the expert witness testimony of ELIZABETH BECKER E264/2
Co-prosecutors’ response to “IENG Sary’s appeal against the Trial Chamber’s 16 January 2013 decision to deny his request to be audio and/or video recorded in the holding cell” E254/3/1/2
Co-prosecutors’ response to IENG Sary’s objection concerning video-link testimony for TCW-624 E236/1/4/4
Trial Chamber memorandum entitled "Scheduling of Experts Philip Short and Elizabeth Becker and postponement of Fact Witnesses until Decision on Severance" E264/1