By SONJA DECHIAN
Cambodia’s UN-backed war crimes court has announced the publication of a series of confessions and apologies made by recently-sentenced former Khmer Rouge prison director, Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch.
‘It is crucial to show Duch’s confession and responsibility to the victims,’ said Neth Pheaktra, a spokesman for the court.
Duch will be a key witness in the trial against three surviving senior Khmer Rouge leaders – chief ideologue Noun Chea, former head of state Khieu Samphan, and foreign minister Ieng Sary. None of them has acknowledged responsibility for atrocities committed during the Khmer Rouge’s 1975-79 rule of Cambodia.
‘I acknowledge the responsibility, especially, torture and the killing,’ said the document referring to confession Duch made during his first trial in early 2009.
The Extraordinary Tribunal in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) disseminated the apology through a number of local newspapers and websites, while TV networks have begun broadcasting video version of the apology. It will also be broadcast for villagers in the provinces of Cambodia as part of the tribunal’s aim to provide ‘moral and collective reparations.’