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Monday, March 30, 2009

Cambodia's Duch back on trial

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 07:48:45 GMT | PressTV

Former Khmer Rouge prison chief Kaing Guek Eav
Cambodia's UN-backed war crimes tribunal has resumed its trial of the Khmer Rouge's prison chief to bring justice for the regime's crimes.

Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, appeared in court on Monday to hear charges that include crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva conventions during the Khmer rule between 1975 and 1979.

The former math teacher was also in court to hear charges that he oversaw the deaths of up to 15,000 people at Tuol Sleng, the main prison center for the communist regime.

"Today, in the name of the Cambodian people and the United Nations, the trial chamber... declares open the hearing related to Duch," chief judge Nil Nonn told the court.

Last month, Duch's lawyers said that he would use the court to publicly ask forgiveness for his role in the regime during a few days of preliminary proceedings.

The 66-year-old Duch is one of five former Khmer Rouge leader facing trials for their roles in the deaths of up to 2 million people through execution, overwork and starvation.

He faces a maximum term of life in prison by the tribunal, which cannot impose the death penalty.

The first stage of the trial began in February and the current hearing has been scheduled to run for at least the next 40 days.

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