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Tribunal To Decide on Duch Appeals in March

Duch was arrested in May 1999 and was later charged by the tribunal for war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and homicide.

The Supreme Court Chamber of the Khmer Rouge tribunal is scheduled to rule on all appeals in the case against torture chief Duch in March 2011, the court announced Thursday.

The chamber must decide on an appeal by prosecutors to lengthen his sentence; an appeal by defense to release him; and an appeal by civil complainants for some kind of public reparation.

Duch was sentenced to a commuted 19 years earlier this year, but prosecutors say this was too lenient for a man accused of overseeing the torture and execution of more than 12,000 people at Tuol Sleng prison. They want a sentence of 45 years.

However, defense lawyers claim Duch was following orders of the regime and shold be released.

Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath said the chamber had determined a detailed schedule and would begin informing interested parties and the public.

Latt Ky, a tribunal monitor for the rights group Adhoc, said the final decision must be well disseminated.

“The public needs to know the final decision on the punishment of Duch,” he said.

Survivors of the prison and those who lost family there say they want him sentenced for life, said Chum Mey, who lived through his incarceration at Tuol Sleng and has formed a support association for other victims.