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One Week Out, Tribunal Readies for Duch Trial

When the impending trial for Khmer Rouge prison chief Kaing Kek Iev begins, Cambodians will learn about his role at three prison sites: Tuol Sleng, Cheoung Ek and Prey Sar.

The Khmer Rouge tribunal announced Monday that during three days of hearings, starting 10 am March 30, discussions will center around the creation of Tuol Sleng, known as S-21, as well as a site called S-13, Takmao prison and armed conflict.

“If nothing changes, the trial will be as scheduled,” Judge Nil Nonn, head of the Trial Chamber, told VOA Khmer.

Better known as Duch, Kaing Kek Iev, 66, faces charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and murder, for his role as the head of Tuol Sleng and other sites, where at least 12,000 Cambodians were tortured or executed.

His trial will be the first of five jailed leaders of the regime for a tribunal that has been more than 10 years in the making and has weathered much criticism for delays, mismanagement and potential corruption.

The courtroom is expected to receive an audience of 500 people, but those who are interested must file an application of participation. The deadline is Wednesday, March 25.

According to Mao Vutha, who is in charge of registering persons at the tribunal, more than 300 people have so far registered to watch, including aid and development workers, diplomats, students and everyday Cambodians.