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Victims Want Justice as Final Arguments Begin for Case 001

Civil parties in the trial of Khmer Rouge prison chief Duch insisted on reparation for victims, as final arguments in the case got underway Monday.

Duch, whose real name is Kaing Kek Iev, has admitted responsibility for the deaths of more than 12,000 people under his administration of Tuol Sleng prison, in the first trial of the UN-backed court.

Four lawyers for civil party teams addressed the court Monday, laying serious responsibility on Duch for atrocities committed against 12,380 prisoners under his control at the prison, known as S-21.

“You forgot the humanity of men and women and of those who were detained in Tuol Sleng,” said Martin Jacquin, civil party lawyer from Group 3.

Duch, 67, is charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and murder, though he has already accepted blame and apologized publicly.

Karim AA Khan, a civil party lawyer, said in his conclusion that Duch’s confession had not been “honest,” and the former math teacher and revolutionary was avoiding responsibility.

“The accused recognized some atrocities that he rejected at the beginning, so the confidence in him is in doubt,” said Silke Studzensky, a lawyer for Group 2.

“What the civil parties need is justice,” said Moch Sovannary, another civil party attorney. “They do not need other things, but justice which is interpreted by reparation.”

In her conclusion, she requested the tribunal set up a volunteer and independent fund for reparation; preserve evidence and the place of crimes; and build a signboard dedicated to victims.