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Former Khmer Rouge Testifies in Duch Case

A former Khmer Rouge fighter who was later arrested and forced to work among the regime’s victims testified in the UN-backed court Wednesday, saying she was held briefly in a second prison administered by Duch.

Duch, whose real name is Kaing Kek Iev, was the chief of Tuol Sleng prison, where prosecutors say 12,380 people were killed, as well as Prey Sar prison, a second facility in Phnom Penh.

Duch is facing atrocity crimes charges for his role at both prisons, as well as administration of Choeung Ek, the site of executions and mass graves on the outskirts of the capital.

Chin Met, 51, said she had been a guerrilla fighter for the Khmer Rouge before it came to power in 1975, but in November 1977, she was arrested, bound and blindfolded. She was detained for 15 days in a Khmer Rouge prison, where she was beaten during questioning and locked in a cell.

She did not know at the time whether she was in Prey Sar or Tuol Sleng.

In response to her testimony, Duch said she must have been held at Prey Sar, because no one who was kept in Tuol Sleng was ever released. Nearly all of the prisons inmates were killed under his supervision, he said, echoing statements made Tuesday.

After her release, Chin Met told the court, she was sent to work in the fields of Kandal province, where she and other women were forced to pull plows as though they were cows.

Chin Met wept as she recalled falling down with fatigue and seeing her friends beaten unconscious by the plowman, who was also a Khmer Rouge soldier.

“When they ordered us to pull the plow, we were discouraged,” she said.