Closing order of case 002 (continue…)

Posted by: | Posted on: May 27, 2011
of Co-Investigating Judges You Bunleng and Marcel Lemonde, 15 September 2010


  • 72.               The CPK Standing Committee was at the top of the Party’s nation-wide communications. It was at the centre of a system of constant information between each part of the administrative hierarchy. It issued the instructions: “Send general reports through various spearheads. Propose short reports by telegram, (all this so) the Standing Committee knows the situation in order to provide timely instructions”.206


  • 73.               The channels of communication were meticulously organized at the level of the Centre (among ministries and offices around the Centre, within the Centre armed forces and within the Centre’s S-21 security apparatus); between the Centre and the zones (with no inter-zone communication allowed); and between zones and sectors. Communication between sectors and districts depended on available means, but was less formalized.
Communication Within the Centre
  • 74.               The distribution of messages that arrived at the Centre from outside entities was coordinated by Office K-1, where it was decided which of the leaders were to receive copies of messages which were subsequently delivered to them.207 This decision was taken by Pol Pot and his staff, who for this purpose received ingoing messages several times per day.208 According to one witness, Nuon Chea always received a copy of the messages Pol Pot had read.209
  • 75.               There was also frequent written communication between individual CPK leaders, most notably between Pol Pot and Nuon Chea, who used to exchange letters every one or two days.210

Zone to Centre Communication

  • 76.               Zones and autonomous sectors reported to the Standing Committee primarily on the agricultural situation, such as the rice harvest and on irrigation systems, the livelihood of the people and the enemy and military situation.211Secretary of Autonomous Sector 105) mentions that he sent telegrams to the Centre and that Pol Pot would send comments back to him about the arrests of cadres and about confessions.212

One witness (the

  • 77.               Surviving telegrams reported matters such as desertion and lawlessness,213 the conflict with Vietnam (detailing enemy numbers killed and equipment captured and advising Office 870 of planned offensives and enemy movements),214 questions on internal security activities in general terms215 or in detail, sometimes referring to those under suspicion,216 Vietnamese “spies” and their interrogations (mentioning the use of torture) 217 or “traitors” (while mentioning them by name).218
  • 78.               The Zone sent and received between one and several telegrams per day on an irregular basis from the sectors.219 Communication was only established between the Centre and the sectors but not between the Centre and the districts.220
  • 79.               A Zone Secretary had a schedule table prepared by the Centre, that indicted the times to make contact with the Centre. Telegrams were sent out from the zone at least once a day sometimes twice a day (morning and evening),223 or in special occasions, telegrams were sent at other hours of the day.224 One of the sector telegram operators in Central Zone (former North Zone) mentions that he received about four to five messages a day from the Centre (870).225
  • 80.               The schedule for telegram activity in the sectors was developed by the zone, thus making it easier to distinguish between telegrams that came in from the Centre and those that were received from different sectors.226 The receipt of a telegram was confirmed by a code word from the other side.227 In 1978, communication between the Centre and the zones increased due to technical improvements.228
  • 81.               Witnesses indicate that there was a strict policy of no communication between the zones: the communication between the zones would be sent via the Centre.229 No contact schedule table or decoding table existed for telegram communication from zone to zone, thus making such contact impossible.230 However one telegram operator states that zone to zone communication took place by letter sent by messengers and had to be stamped with the seal of the zone.231
Zone to Sector and District Communication
  • 82.               Each sector had its own telegram office but any outgoing communication had to go through the Zone.232
83.               Only the Autonomous Sectors communicated directly with the Centre and not via the zone.233 One witness, who worked as a telegram operator in Autonomous Sector 105, states that the district offices mostly reported on irrigation projects, healthcare, the monitoring of forces and on “good or bad elements, traitorous or peaceful alliance elements”.234 The Sector Secretary’s Office would prepare a district performance report and send it back to the Centre
on a daily basis.235
  • 84.               Messengers were mainly used for communication within the sectors and districts, as indicated by American sources (Stoney Beach report): “Each District and Sector within the Eastern Region (Zone) had a messenger network. The networks followed a rigid structure that mirrored the region (Zone) chain of command. For example, even if a district messenger unit was stationed near a regional unit, the district unit would first send messages to their headquarters, then on to the region messenger office. The message would then enter the region (Zone) network. The messengers carried high priority military, party and security messages, as well as personal correspondence for deployed personnel”.236

External Communication

  • 85.               Democratic Kampuchea had the technical means to communicate with foreign countries. CPK senior leaders sent telegrams to other, mostly socialist friendly, states throughout the duration of the regime to comment or congratulate them on events in their respective countries,237 or to explain that everything was going fine.238
  • 86.               According to [REDACTED],external communication was channeled through the embassy in Beijing and communication could either come from the party or the government or directly from Pol Pot to the party cell in Beijing.239 Inside the country, there was no access to any foreign information service.240Ministry of Propaganda was instructed to give senior leaders daily briefings about world news.241

However, the Furthermore, [REDACTED] states that Ieng Sary had charged [REDACTED] with listening to the news from foreign broadcast

Meetings to “Study at the Centre”
  • 87.               Cadres from the Zone Committee and Sector level, including the military, were invited to “study meetings” in Phnom Penh243 or at “the Centre”.244 Witnesses name Nuon Chea245 or Office 870246 or 870247 or Pol Pot248 as the sender of such invitations.
  • 88.               In several cases, when cadres were called to the Centre, they would be arrested and never returned back to their zones.249
  • 89.               Monthly meetings at the Centre were held at K-1 to which various leading cadre of District Committees, Sector Committees and Zone Committees were invited.250 These meetings were regularly headed and attended by senior Party cadre.251 Military meetings, gathering military commanders were held at the Olympic Stadium and were chaired by Pol Pot and Son Sen.252 Sometimes special meetings were held with only a few attendees and these meetings took place on an irregular basis.253

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