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Dismissed Victims Prepare Tribunal Appeal

Lawyers for a number of victims of Khmer Rouge torture chief Duch say they will appeal a court decision to dismiss their clients.

Following last week's verdict of Duch, whose real name is Kaing Kek Iev, 24 of 90 victims who claimed they lost loved ones in his torture center were dismissed. The names of the remaining were put on the tribunal's website as compensation for their losses.

“We are preparing the appeal because our clients firstly were not pleased with the verdict, and they are unhappy with the decision to dismiss them,” Hong Kim Suon, a lawyer for one group of civil party complainants, told VOA Khmer.

The court, which gave Duch a commuted sentence of 19 years, claimed the 24 complainants had not provided sufficient evidence their relatives were among the more than 12,000 killed at Tuol Sleng.

The announcement of the appeal was among a growing number of indicators that the UN-backed court's first case was not successful in bringing a sense of justice to people hurt by the regime and its policies.

The court is now heading toward its second case, a more complicated endeavor that will try four senior leaders in custody, and possibly Duch, for war crimes including genocide.