Duch, whose actual name is Kaing Guek Eav, has during the trial repeatedly accepted responsibility for his role in governing the jail and begged for forgiveness from the families of the victims. -- PHOTO: AFP
Sep 17, 2009
PHNOM PENH -CAMBODIA'S UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal on Thursday wrapped up the presentation of evidence in the trial of the man accused of running the regime's most notorious prison.
Closing arguments in the trial of Duch, the first to be held at the special war crimes court, are scheduled to take place in November and the verdict is expected early next year.
The court has been hearing evidence since late March about Duch's role in overseeing the torture and execution of over 15,000 people at Tuol Sleng detention centre in the late 1970s.
'I would like to declare the adjournment to this morning's proceedings now,' chief judge Nil Nonn told the court, officially ending testimony.
Duch, whose actual name is Kaing Guek Eav, has during the trial repeatedly accepted responsibility for his role in governing the jail and begged for forgiveness from the families of the victims.
In his final testimony on Wednesday, he invited victims of the regime to visit him in detention. He is being held on the premises of the purpose-built court on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.
But the 66-year-old denies several allegations that he personally tortured or killed inmates and denies being a key figure in the hardline communist movement, in government from 1975 to 1979.
Led by Pol Pot, who died in 1998, the Khmer Rouge emptied Cambodia's cities in a bid to forge an agrarian utopia, resulting in the deaths of up to two million people from starvation, overwork and torture.
Four senior Khmer Rouge leaders are currently in detention awaiting the next trial at the court, and judges recently ruled five more cadres should be investigated for possible prosecution. -- AFP