The Trial Chamber Opens New Page and Former Tuol Sleng Prison Chief ‘Duch’ Is Accused during the First Hearing – Tuesday, 31.3.2009

Posted on 7 April 2009. Filed under: Week 606 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 606

“The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia heard Tuol Sleng Prison Chief Kaing Gek Eav, alias Duch, on 30 March 2009, while the Khmer Rouge Tribunal read out the indictment against Duch, related to crimes that this suspect committed during his office in the Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1979.

“Duch was transported by security guards of the tribunal from the detention center at around 9:00 a.m. to the courtroom under very careful guard. In the courtroom, judges publicly announced to open the hearing. Then judges directly addressed Duch and ordered two clerks to read out the indictment for the whole day, not permitting any arguments. The spokesperson of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Mr. Reach Sambath, said that Duch’s indictment read by clerks during the hearing on 30 March 2009 consists of hundreds of pages. He added that on 31 March 2009, the co-prosecutors will accuse Duch officially. That is the time when Duch’s lawyers can argue and pose questions.

“It is noticed that, when the presiding judge, Mr. Nel Non, asked the accused about his biography and his activities, the accused described his biography following questions asked by the judges in front of Khmer and foreign co-prosecutors. There were around 500 people attending to observe the procedures of the process, to hear Duch who is the former Tuol Sleng prison chief, for whom Khmer citizens have been waiting for justice for nearly 30 years. Anyway, participants expressed satisfaction toward the tribunal which tried the Tuol Sleng prison chief, because during Duch’s control, nearly 20,000 people are known to have been killed, some died from torture in the Tuol Sleng prison, or were sent to be executed at the Boeng Cheung Ek execution site.

“According to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s procedures, while clerks were reading the indictment against Duch, nobody was allowed to argue. The hundreds-of-pages-long indictment raised Duch’s responsibility at the S-21 prison [the Tuol Sleng prison], the Cheung Ek execution site [the Killing Fields], the Takhmao prison, the Prey Sar prison, and other prisons around the country with relations to the S-21 prison.

“At the same time, around 300 students from the provinces and cities attended in the afternoon, in the compound of the tribunal, in order to study Duch’s hearing, but they could not come into the courtroom, because there were no seats available for them. Mr. Reach Sambath said that they might not believe what their parents had told them about the executions during the Khmer Rouge regime, but now, they want to see the in practice.

“The Tribunal allows Duch’s hearing to be broadcast live through National Television (TVK) and through national radio. Mr. Reach Sambath went on to say that the co-prosecutors will accuse Duch and Duch’s defense lawyers can argue. There was no response from the accused Duch while the clerks were reading the indictment for the whole day, and he just sat and listened, but Duch and his defense lawyers can argue the next day.

“Mr. Reach Sambath continued to say that the tribunal plans to publish the indictment, read by the clerks of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, in the court’s website, if the legal team gives the permission. According to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Duch’s hearing might take up to four months. Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6616, 31.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #49, 31.3.2009

  • Electricity Generators of the Naga Casino Create Disturbing Noise and Stand High over the National Assembly [Naga, the biggest Casino in Phnom Penh, is located next to the National Assembly and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the Buddhist institute]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #153, 31.3.2009

  • Research Found that Nearly 9 Million Cambodians Discharge Waste Outside of Toilets
  • Almost 100 Chi Kraeng District Residents Protest in Front of the National Assembly over the Shootout in the Land Dispute [in Siem Reap]
  • Canada Helps Train [40] Cambodian Police in Investigation Skills on Human Trafficking
  • The United Nations Announces that Up to One Billion People Will Starve
  • The United States of America Announces It Will Not Shoot Down the Missile of North Korea

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1911, 31.3.2009

  • The King Returns from Beijing after Receiving a Medical Checkup
  • Duch’s Hearing Will Last until July
  • The Opposition Party Asks the [US] FBI to Release the Investigation Document about the Grenade Attack in Front of the National Assembly [in 1997, which killed nearly 20 people]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6616, 31.3.2009

  • The Trial Chamber Opens a New Page and the Former Tuol Sleng Prison Chief ‘Duch’ Is Accused during the First Hearing
  • More Than US$12 Million Is Collected from the Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese Friendship and Charity Golf Event [in Vietnam]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4859, 31.3.2009

  • Cambodia Decided to Remove Mine Danger Signs after Siamese [Thai] Black Clad Soldiers [special border protection units] Said They Wait for a Decision from Higher Levels
  • Fire Burned down a Bike Shop at Night, Killing Three Persons, and Destroying All Property [Kampot]
  • Two Men Jumped in to the Sea to Escape from a Thai Fishing Boat [where they were forced to work] – They Were Rescued by a Vietnamese Boat [Kampot]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3725, 31.3.2009

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Asks for the Creation of an International Court to Convict Criminals Who Threw Grenades in Front of the [former] National Assembly, after Ron Abney [an American citizen injured at that time] Had to Have One Leg Amputated [because of the attack]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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