Hourth (pictured) and Christopher were abducted by Khmer Rouge guerrillas in March 1996 whilst on a demining mission in Siem Reap province. Hourth stayed with his British technical advisor when the rest of their MAG demining team were released, only to lose his life shortly after, when the Khmer Rouge decided he'd outlived his usefulness. At the trial on 3 October, it was revealed that Cambodian intelligence officers and British police detective Mike Dixon interviewed many of the key witnesses in 1998 and who recovered Hourth's skull from the village of Kul in July 1999. It was understood that Hourth had been murdered by a cadre called Han after he was deemed surplus to requirements, whilst Howes had been taken to Anlong Veng, kept in a school before he was shot and his body burnt a few hundred yards from the home of Ta Mok. At the time of the trial, Chhun Kham gave a statement about the impact on her life of her husband's death, asking the court to jail the people responsible and to award her compensation for their actions. "Since my husband's death, my family has endured great hardship by lacking money to support the studies of my two sons, clothes, and enough nutition and when occasionally my sons get sick, I have no money to pay for medical bills, so that I need to borrow from someone for this payment. Nowadays, I don't have a job besides selling vegetables at Boeung Chhouk market in Battambang province." Today the widow and family of Houn Hourth received some justice for his murder twelve years ago and the compensation will help if it's ever received, but it will never make the pain of his loss go away.
[photo courtesy of Mrs Chhun Kham]