Life Sentence For Khmer Rouge Prison Chief

Life Sentence For Khmer Rouge Prison Chief

By SONJA DECHIAN | Published: FEBRUARY 6, 2012 Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has handed a life sentence to Kaing Guek Eav, the Khmer Rouge prison chief also known as Duch.

Initially sentenced to 35 years imprisonment for crimes against humanity in 2010, this was reduced to consider time served and other technicalities. Prosecutors appealed, calling for a life sentence. Duch also appealed on the grounds he was ‘just a minor secretary,’ and was merely following orders. The ECCC has now rejected his claim and increased his sentence to life in prison.

The 69-year-old was the commander of Tuol Sleng prison where he oversaw the deaths of an estimated 15,000 in the late 1970s.

‘The crimes of Kaing Guek Eav were of a particularly shocking and heinous character based on the number of people who were proven to have been killed,’ the judgement said.

The Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, were responsible for the deaths of nearly one quarter of Cambodia’s population through starvation, overwork, torture and execution.

The court is currently trying three other leaders of the regime.

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