Convicted Khmer Rouge torture chief Duch told the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal on Tuesday that he met with Nuon Chea frequently to update him on “confessions” and other operations at his prison.
Nuon Chea is on trial for atrocity crimes alongside two other Khmer Rouge leaders, Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea.
Prosecutors have sought to shed light on the administration of the secretive regime and to bind Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary in joint criminal activity for atrocities committed by Khmer Rouge cadre under their leadership.
As the head of Tuol Sleng prison, Duch oversaw the torture and execution of more than 12,000 people, most of whom were accused as enemies of the Khmer Rouge movement.
The tribunal has sentenced him to life in prison for his crimes, and he has become a key witness in his descriptions of the Khmer Rouge leadership.
Much of his testimony has been focused on the role of Nuon Chea, the regime’s No. 2 ideologue after Pol Pot, who died in April 1998 without ever seeing trial.
In his fifth day of testimony before the court, Duch said he reported to Nuon Chea “every three to five days” in meetings that lasted around 10 minutes.
“I reported to him about the confessions, and he instructed and advised,” Duch told the court. “All the power was concentrated in the hands of the secretariat of the communist party—Pot Pot and Nuon Chea. When Pol Pot was absent, Nuon Chea replaced him, and when Pol Pot issued an order, Nuon Chea followed up on how it was applied.”