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Prosecutors Appeal Judges' Order for Duch

Khmer Rouge tribunal prosecutors issued an appeal to the investigating judges' order for jailed prison chief Kaing Kek Iev, claiming the order did not charge him for a number of crimes.

Investigating judges issued their closing order, which includes indictments of the defendant, earlier this month, and the appeal by prosecutors will mean a revision of the order and a further delay of a trial for the defendant, better known by his revolutionary name, Duch.

Duch, 65, faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role as the director of Tuol Sleng, known by the Khmer Rouge as S-21. He has been in the custody of military courts and the tribunal since 1999.

In a statement released Thursday, tribunal prosecutors said the judges' order "does not charge Duch for his responsibility, as co-perpetrator, for a significant number of crimes that occurred as part of a joint criminal enterprise inside S-21."

Tribunal co-investigating judge You Bunleng said Thursday the appeal will delay Duch's trial, but he was confident his investigation was complete.

The appeal would be up to the Pre-Trial Chamber to consider, he said.

Long Panhavuth, a project officer for the Open Society Justice Initiative, which is monitoring the tribunal, said it the Pre-Trial Chamber, in general, must consider the rights of the accused, but they could also expedite the process to move toward a trial.

Hisham Mousar, a tribunal observer for the rights group Adhoc, said the Pre-Trial Chamber could take "quick action" to rule on the appeal, but "slow action" could take as long as two months to decide.