Accessibility links

Breaking News

Duch To Stand Witness in Upcoming Khmer Rouge Trial

Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, admitted to overseeing the torture and killing of 16,000 people as the Khmer Rouge's chief prison warden returned to the courtroom in Cambodia to appeal his 19-year prison sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Tribunals at the Khmer Rouge tribunal said Monday that Duch, who was found guilty of atrocity crimes for his role as supervisor of a torture center, will be a witness in the upcoming trial of former regime leaders.

Four leaders—Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith—will stand trial for crimes including genocide when the hearing opens later this year.

Duch, who said during his trial he was acting under orders by top leaders, could provide testimony against them, officials said.

“The chamber would call Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch as an ordinary witness for
case 002,” wrote judge Nil Nonn, president of Trial Chamber, following tribunal meetings to prepare for the hearing last week.

Nil Nonn wrote that Duch’s conviction for his crimes did not preclude him from giving testimony.

“Duch is a highly likely witness, who knows the crimes that happened and all the systems of the criminal mechanism led by former Khmer Rouge leaders,” said Latt Ky, a tribunal monitor for the rights group Adhoc.

Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath said the Trial Chamber is now deciding who else among thousands of case applicants will stand as witness when the trial begins.