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Duch Deserves Release, Compensation for Illegal Detention, Lawyers Argue

Lawyers for the detained Khmer Rouge torture chief Duch argue he should be released and compensated for his detention, according to a legal brief released on the Khmer Rouge tribunal Web site Friday.

The lawyers, Cambodian Kar Savuth and Frenchman Francois Roux, officially filed for Duch's release from court detention in July. But the published appeal brief published offers a closer look at a tribunal process.

The lawyers for Duch, whose real name is Kaing Khek Iev, argue that their client has been held illegally since 1999, a human rights abuse.

Tribunal judges did not take his "lengthy" detention into consideration when they remanded him to tribunal court detention.

Duch—under whose watch up to 16,000 people were tortured, executed and dumped into mass graves on the outskirts of Phnom Penh—should be compensated "for the harm he has suffered as a result of the time he has spent in provisional detention," the lawyers argue in the brief.

Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath encouraged people to submit by the first week of October relevant "friends of the court" briefs on whether Duch should be released ahead of his trial.

"I have not seen any briefs to the court on whether they support or don't support Duch's release or not," he said.