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Films Submitted as Potential Duch Evidence

Two films of Tuol Sleng prison provided to researchers by the Vietnamese government could become evidence in Khmer Rouge tribunal proceedings against the prison’s former chief.

Two deputy prosecutors for the Khmer Rouge tribunal made a motion to the Trial Chamber to allow two films to be entered as new evidence in the atrocity trial of prison chief Duch.

The Trial Chamber must decide by Feb. 17 whether to add the films, which include footage of Tuol Sleng prison shot by Vietnamese soldiers as they entered Phnom Penh in January 1979 as they pushed the Khmer Rouge from power.

The films depict the bodies of prisoners, some of them decapitated, as well as different types of cells, torture devices, shackles and other restraints. One film shows a Vietnamese soldier carrying a weak child out of the prison in his arms and two more child survivors.

The films are two among 20, totaling 480 minutes of footage, that have so far been submitted to the Documentation Center of Cambodia by the Vietnamese.

Duch, 66, whose real name is Kaing Kek Iev, will be tried in March on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and murder for his role as chief of the prison, known to the Khmer Rouge by it’s alphanumeric code S-21.

“The films provided by the Vietnamese government through DC-Cam are related to the indictment against Duch,” the deputy prosecutors, Yeth Chakrya and William Smith, said in their motion to the Trial Chamber. “Those documents are very interesting for finding out the truth about S-21.”

Judge Nil Nonn, head of the Trial Chamber, confirmed he had received the motion, which was filed Jan. 28 and published on the tribunal’s Web site Friday.

The motion will be decided on during the initial trial hearing on Feb. 17, Nil Nonn said.