Thursday, February 2, 2012

Khmer Rouge chief jailer gets life in prison

Khmer Rouge tribunal's Supreme Court on Friday
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — The Khmer Rouge tribunal's Supreme Court on Friday ordered the regime's chief jailer to serve out the rest of his life in prison because of his "shocking and heinous" crimes against the Cambodian people.

The surprise ruling increased a lower court's 19-year sentence that had been appealed by prosecutors as too lenient and that had outraged survivors who feared the man who oversaw the killings of thousands could one day walk free. Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch, was commander of the top secret Tuol Sleng prison — code-named S-21.

He admitted to overseeing the torture of his prisoners before sending them for execution at the "killing fields." In July 2010, the tribunal's lower court convicted Duch (pronounced DOIK) of war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and murder.

He was sentenced to 35 years in prison but had 11 years shaved off for time served and other technicalities. The sentence was appealed both by prosecutors who called for life imprisonment and by Duch who argued it was too harsh because he was merely following orders. Read More...

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