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Duch Says He Would Not Arrest More Suspects

Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, ran the notorious Toul Sleng prison, where up to 16,000 people were tortured before being killed, at the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh, file photo.

Convicted Khmer Rouge torture chief Duch told the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal on Tuesday he would not push for more arrests of former Khmer Rouge leaders.

Duch has been under cross-examination by defense attorneys for three former leaders already in jail, Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary. All three men are facing atrocity crimes charges for their leadership roles in the Khmer Rouge.

International prosecutors have put forward two more cases to the court that would require five more indictments, but under questioning Tuesday, Duch said he would not “push” such arrests.

The question of further indictments has vexed the court, with strong opposition from Cambodian leaders and the resignations of judges and senior advisers over two more cases. Defense attorneys have said that the woes over the two cases highlight corruption in the tribunal’s judicial process.

Duch said on Monday he had no evidence that would link the regime’s foreign minister, Ieng Sary, to decisions related to arrests conducted by his subordinates.

“Ieng Sary must have been informed,” Duch told the court. “If Ieng Sary was not at a steering committee meeting, he would have been informed by Pol Pot about his decisions.”