Extraordinary Chambers, Courts of Cambodia
The first courtroom hearing in the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), a joint United Nations/Cambodia tribunal for the prosecution of war crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge, concluded today. The defendant in these proceedings, Kaing Guek Eav, commonly known as Duch, headed the Tuol Sleng prison, where more than 14,000 perceived enemies of the regime were tortured and killed during the Khmer Rougeâ€™s brief four-and-a-half year reign.
At the hearing, Duch appealed his detention, arguing that holding him in captivity without trial for a period of eight years had violated international and Cambodian law, as well as his human rights. The latter contention drew laughter from spectators. Arguing against the grant of bail, prosecutors claimed that Duch posed a flight risk, and that his release could engender public disorder. The Tribunal reserved judgment on the issue, stating that the ruling would be given at a later date.
The hearing began one day after the arrest of Khieu Samphan, former President of the Khmer Rouge. Samphan is the last of five defendants initially targeted by ECCC prosecutors.
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