ECCC Concludes Appeal Hearing for Duch

Phnom Penh, March 31, 2011 AKP –

The UN-backed Supreme Court Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) concluded the appeal hearing on Mar. 30 for Khmer Rouge S-21 Prison Chief Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch following the three-day court process.

Duch allowed to make his statement before ending the hearing urged the court to acquit him because he is not a high-ranking leader and he is not the one who is responsible for Democratic Kampuchea regime being taken for trial this time.

He also asked the tribunal to seek justice and truth for the Cambodian people, as well as former Khmer Rouge cadres to be avoided from the risk, mainly the middle class who do not fall within the justification of this tribunal.

He raised issues relating to Khmer Rouge’s crime platform led by Communist Party of Kampuchea in which the first leader is Pol Pot, the second is Nuon Chea and the third Ung Choeun, alias Ta Mok.

However, he accepted his responsibility as the morality and the law to the criminal acts committed at Tuol Sleng prison.

He maintained his stance to asking for forgiveness offered to him from the victims at S-21 prison and urged the victim’s families to allow him to beg forgiveness one day.

During the three-day appeal hearings, there were many arguments dealing with law provided by Duch’s defense lawyers and victim lawyers.

The prosecution demanded a life imprison for Duch’s role as a chairman of the security prison, where at least 12,000 people died during the period from April 17, 1975 to January 6, 1979.

Co-Prosecutors Chea Leang and Andrew Cayley claimed that Duch should have been cumulatively convicted for the crimes against humanity of persecution, enslavement, imprisonment, torture, rape, extermination and other inhumane acts as well as the enslavement of those detained in S-21. They demanded the Supreme Court Chamber impose heavier sentence.

The Supreme Court Chamber is expected to issue its judgment in a few months. –AKP

By THOU Peou

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