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Duch Returns to 'Killing Fields', and S-21 Prison

The head of the main Khmer Rouge torture centre on Tuesday February 26 was taken from a detention cell to the former regime's "killing fields" to stage a re-construction of his alleged crimes before officials of Cambodia's genocide tribunal.

Sixty-five-year-old Duch, has been charged with crimes against humanity for his role as commandant of the Khmer Rouge's notorious S-21 prison.

The prison and killing fields, which are now open to tourists, were closed to the public and press during the re-construction . It was unclear what form the re-construction would take.

Duch is one of five former high-ranking Khmer Rouge officials being held for trial. When Duch was in charge of Tuol Sleng prison in the late 1970s as many as 16-thousand men, women and children were tortured before being taken for execution in fields just outside the capital.

The following day, Duch was taken to the Khmer Rouge's notorious S-21 prison by Cambodia's UN assisted tribunal.

Three S-21 prison suvivors who are still alive said they wre invited to join the visit on Wednesday February 27. They said they do not harbour anger toward Duch anymore, but, if give an opportunity to face him during the visit, they would ask him why they had been imprisoned and tormented. Only 14 prisoners are thought to have survived S-21.

Duch's return to the S-21 prison was his first in nearly 30 years since the Khmer Rouge regime was toppled from power by an invading Vietnamese army.

Information for this report was provided by APTN.