Home > Uncategorized > Duch appeal hearings set for March

Duch appeal hearings set for March

Thursday, 23 December 2010 18:56 James O’Toole and Cheang Sokha 
Comrade Duch, the head of a Khmer Rouge prison camp where 16,000 men, women
and children were tortured and executed has appeared before Cambodia’s
genocide tribunal in its first trial over the reign of terror more than
three decades ago
The Khmer Rouge tribunal’s Supreme Court Chamber will hear the appeal of
former Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Guek Eav in March next year, the
court said in a statement on Thursday.

The notorious jailer,
better known as Duch, was sentenced to 30 years in prison in July by the
court’s Trial Chamber after being found guilty of crimes against
humanity and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. The court said
his appeal hearings will take place “during the last week of March
2011”, adding that the exact dates and times of the hearings will be
announced “in due course”.

“We expect that [the hearings] will be
public,” court spokesman Reach Sambath said. “I think the court will
always be full of people.”

Duch’s lawyers filed an appeal against
the judgment last month, charging that their client falls outside the
court’s mandate to investigate “senior leaders” and those “most
responsible” for crimes committed under the regime of Democratic
Kampuchea.

The appeal followed the shocking turnabout last year
during closing arguments when, after accepting limited responsibility
and essentially pleading guilty through months of hearings, Duch asked
to be acquitted and released.

The court’s prosecutors have also
appealed against the July verdict, claiming that judges had given
“insufficient weight to the gravity of Duch’s crimes and his role and
his willing participation in those crimes”.

They have called on
the Supreme Court Chamber to sentence the defendant to 45 years in
prison, reduced from a life sentence due to Duch’s unlawful pre-trial
detention.

“There comes a point where the crimes committed are
sufficiently grave and the offender sufficiently notorious, or in such a
position of authority, that the highest sentence must be imposed,” the
prosecutors wrote in their appeal. “That point was reached and passed
here.”

A total of 41 civil parties have also appealed, requesting
either that the court declare their claims admissible or amend their
reparations award. 

Phnom Penh Post 
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Categories: Uncategorized
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