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Prosecutors Seek Lifetime in Prison for Duch

A photographer takes pictures from a television screen of Kaing Guek Eav, while on trial awaiting a verdict, July 2010.

Prosecutors at the Khmer Rouge tribunal have issued an appeal seeking a minimum 45 years in prison without parole for the torture chief Kaing Kek Iev, better known as Duch.

In an appeal made public Tuesday court prosecutors Andrew Cayley and Chea Leang pushed for life in prison commuted to 45 years for the illegal detention Duch underwent before the tribunal was established.

If accepted by the Supreme Court Chamber, the sentence would be a large increase to the 19 commuted years Duch received in sentencing in July and an effective life sentence for the 68-year-old, who oversaw the deaths of more than 12,000 people are Tuol Sleng prison.

The UN-backed tribunal found Duch guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity in July, following months of testimony and hearings.

In their appeal, posted on the tribunal's website on Tuesday, prosecutors said the original sentence had been “unfair and inadequate.” The Trial Chamber had failed to separately convict the accused for extermination, murder, enslavement, rape, imprisonment, torture and other inhumane acts, they wrote.

“They murdered over 10,000 people in that place and tortured many others,” Cayley said. “There were a handful of survivors. So I think, without a doubt, the crime is serious enough to warrant the life sentence.”

Bou Meng, one of those survivors, said Tuesday he would gladly accept a life sentence for his former captor.