Friday, July 23, 2010

First verdict by Khmer Rouge tribunal due on Monday

On Monday the Cambodian war crimes tribunal will hand down its verdict in the case against Kaing Guek Eav, the former head of the Khmer Rouge's most important torture and execution centre known as S-21.

Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Comrade Duch, remains the only member of the Khmer Rouge to appear thus far before an international tribunal charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Duch's trial heard emotional testimony from some of the very few who survived S-21. The prison was a place where all of the 20,000 who entered were deemed guilty of treason. No more than a dozen inmates survived.

S-21's function was to torture prisoners, extract a confession, and then kill them. Those implicated in the confessions would in turn be rounded up, and the cycle resumed.

Duch's signature was on thousands of execution orders, which contained the phrase 'smash them'.

Last November, after 77 days of testimony, the process of hearing evidence at Duch's trial came to an end.

To read more:,,5825155,00.html

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