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Duch Put Friends in Prison, Too

The Khmer Rouge prison chief Duch told a UN-backed court Thursday he had not spared friends in the murderous prison known as S-21, as they were considered “enemies” of the revolution.

“I loved them, respected them, but I couldn’t go to see them,” Duch told the court, following the testimony of a civil party complainant in the trial.

The complainant, Chum Searath, criticized Duch for cowardly acts and of helping his friends and fellow teachers at S-21, also known as Tuol Sleng.

Duch, 66, whose real name is Kaing Kek Iev, is facing atrocity crimes charges for his role as administrator of Tuol Sleng and other sites, where prosecutors say 12,380 people were sent to their deaths.

Duch said he had been “incapable” of helping even his friends.

“As you know,” he told the court, “it was the principle that those who were arrested were considered as enemies.”