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Nuon Chea Denies Responsibility for S-21 Prison

In this photo released by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Nuon Chea, center, who was Pol Pot's No. 2 and the group's chief ideologist, sits during the second trial of the top leaders of Khmer Rouge in the court hall of the U.N.-backe

The Khmer Rouge’s chief ideologue told the Khmer Rouge tribunal Wednesday he had not ordered the torture or executions of prisoners at Phnom Penh’s Tuol Sleng prison.

Nuon Chea is on trial for atrocity crimes along with two other aging Khmer Rouge leaders at the UN-backed court.

The former head of Tuol Sleng, Duch, has been testifying against the leaders there, as prosecutors seek to link them in joint criminal conduct.

Duch told the court Nuon Chea ordered him to execute prisoners at the facility, known to the Khmer Rouge as S-21, a claim Nuon Chea called “a lie, an exaggeration, and unjust.”

“I declare to my Cambodian compatriots that I was not at any time responsible for S-21,” Nuon Chea said.

Nuon Chea also disputed Duch testimony that he had been overseen his work.

“I was not Duch’s boss,” he said.