Home > Khmer Rouge, Local News > Prosecution to seek life term for Khmer Rouge war criminal Duch

Prosecution to seek life term for Khmer Rouge war criminal Duch

Phnom Penh – The prosecution in the appeal case of the former head of
security for the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia said Sunday it would seek a
tougher sentence from the United Nations-backed war crimes tribunal
when it opens on Monday.Last year, the tribunal’s lower chamber
sentenced Comrade Duch, whose real name is Kaing Guek Eav, to 35 years
in jail for his role in the deaths of at least 12,272 detainees at the
notorious S-21 prison in Phnom Penh in the 1970s.
 
Duch’s sentence was reduced to 19 years for time already served and compensation for being held illegally prior to trial.The prosecution will seek to have him jailed for life on the grounds that the original sentence was too lenient.”
 
The
most important ground of appeal is that the sentence given by the trial
chamber was manifestly inadequate,” international co- prosecutor Andrew
Cayley said. 
 
“We are seeking life imprisonment.”Prosecutors also
objected to the court’s decision to subsume a number of crimes against
humanity charges into a single conviction. Cayley said those charges
were so significant that Duch should be found guilty of them
individually.Duch’s appeal against the conviction is scheduled
to last three days, with the verdict likely to be delivered in June. 
 
Duch’s lawyers are arguing that the court did not have jurisdiction to
try him.The 68-year-old is the first person the international
court has found guilty of crimes committed under the Khmer Rouge
regime, which ruled Cambodia between 1975-79.
 
The tribunal was
established to try surviving senior leaders and those considered “most
responsible” for crimes committed by the ultra-Maoist regime.Duch’s
trial in 2009 saw him mount a spectacular turnaround when he reversed
his “guilty but sorry” plea. 
 
In the final days of the nine-month
hearing, his lawyer told the court that Duch should be acquitted and
released.In their appeal defence lawyers argue that their client
did not fall into the category of “those most responsible” for crimes
committed by the Khmer Rouge.S-21 was a torture and execution
centre for perceived enemies of the revolution. 
 
Just a handful of an
estimated 15,000 detainees survived.The appeal comes months ahead of the start of the second – and possibly final – case that the Khmer Rouge tribunal will hear.
 
Four
senior former Khmer Rouge leaders are set to face trial on charges of
genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity for their alleged
roles in the deaths of up to 2.2 million people from execution,
disease, starvation and overwork.All four deny the charges.
 
The
four are: Brother Number Two Nuon Chea, the movement’s ideologue; head
of state Khieu Samphan; foreign minister Ieng Sary; and his wife, the
social affairs minister Ieng Thirith.Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot, died in 1998. 
 
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Categories: Khmer Rouge, Local News
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