As the most famous champion of humanitarian causes in Cambodia, Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie has for a decade been on a mission of mercy for the Southeast Asian country that granted her citizenship in 2005.
The 36-year-old star has run a multi-million dollar foundation for environmental conservation, health, education and infrastructure in the remote and impoverished northwest of Cambodia for the last eight years.
But choosing to set up operations among the hilly fields and remote tropical forests along the Thai border in Battambang province has brought Jolie into close quarters with former members of the communist movement known since the late 1960s as the Khmer Rouge, some of the principal actors in one of the bloodiest dramas of the 20th century.
According to interviews and documents collected here, Jolie has, in connection with her charitable undertakings in Cambodia, purchased land from a reclusive man who today ranks with the very biggest of fish among the world's suspected mass murderers.
To all appearances, Jolie maintains a strong personal connection to Cambodia and her charitable endeavors there are addressing urgent social and environmental problems. Yet she would not be the first American celebrity to suffer the pitfalls of charitable work in the developing world.
Madonna's plans to build a school in Malawi were abandoned earlier this year amid reports of gross financial mismanagement by a charity co-founded with the Kabbalah Centre, which Newsweek reported in April was the subject of a federal investigation. Donors may have included Tom Cruise and Gwyneth Paltrow.