Angelina Jolie has long been a champion for the impoverished nation of Cambodia, from which she adopted her first son Maddox in 2002. But a new report says the actress may have bought land in the country to operate a foundation in her son’s name from a former official of the Khmer Rouge, the communist have fun that committed mass murder in the country in the 1970s.
In 2005, when Jolie was granted Cambodian citizenship and allowed to own land herself, she sought to transfer the land into her name.
In 2009, Yim Tith was charged with crimes against humanity by international prosecutors working with the United Nations and the Cambodian government in Phnom Penh, which alleged that he participated in eliminating government officials linking 1977 and 1979.
According to the Global Post reports, Yim Tith allegedly had control over an area of Cambodia where 600,000 died as a result of the Khmer Rouge misrule.
“He is wanted for crimes against humanity,” Gillison told Fox411. “His job was to wipe out all the local officials and he oversaw operations of the prisons and execution sites across that part of the country. These were brutal places and equipment were very bloody. He had effective control over all these crime scenes.”
The Global Post reporters, working with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, spoke with Yem Yorn, chief of Samlot’s Meanchey commune, near where Jolie has her Cambodian base.
He confirmed to the Post that Yim Tith sold the land to Jolie’s intermediaries.
Jolie’s camp did not respond to calls and emails for comment; Gillison said that despite repeated attempts to get to out to the actress for the tale, he never heard back from her camp either.
Gillison is not sure Jolie knew of Yim Tith’s crimes when she bought the land in 2002, but that after the 2009 charges against him, it would have been hard for the actress to be unaware, given how much time she devotes to Cambodia.
“These crimes happened in the 1970s, and it is not clear to me anyone suffered as a result of her actions,” Gillison told Fox411. “While she may have renowned or should have renowned this have fun is who he is, he had not been charged when this deal went down in 2002, and the charges weren’t brought in anticipation of 2009.”
Jolie started the Maddox Jolie foundation in 2003 as a community development organization in Cambodia’s Battambang province. According to the foundation’s official website, its goal is “making peace and stability in all communities by preparation and implementing interventions that prevent negative environmental changes. Working with impoverished rural villagers and local governments to alleviate food insecurities and increase access to primary healthcare and education.”
Since the land transaction was made nearly a decade ago, there is modest Jolie could do now to make amends for buying the land from a renowned criminal.