The Court Orders That Duch Be Placed In Provisional Detention Up To One Year
Posted by khmernews on August 3, 2007
Phnom Penh: According to the statement the Kampuchea Thmey has just received from the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), the court ordered on July 31, 2007 that Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, be placed in provisional detention. The order has been issued by Co-Investigating Judges You Bunleng and Marcel Lemonde.
Duch has been accused of heading notorious Security Prison S-21 between 1975 and 1979 where—under his authority—countless severe violations were allegedly committed against civilian population (arbitrary detention, torture and other inhumane acts, mass murder, etc) which occurred within a political context of widespread or systematic abuses and constitute crimes against humanity. According to the statement, the ECCC’s Co-Prosecutors have requested Duch’s provisional detention because Duch has been believed to have taken part in crimes described in the Introductory Submission. The provisional detention is necessary to prevent any kind of pressure on witnesses, especially people who used to be under his power. It is also necessary to ensure that he doesn’t flee, to protect his personal safety and to preserve public order.
Kaing Guek Eav admitted that he was the chief of S-21 torture center and said that he was ready to reveal the crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge. He said that there was no reason to think that he would exert pressure on witnesses. A question has been raised that: “Is it necessary to put Duch in provisional detention at this time?” The Co Investigating-Judges answered that the 30-year-old crimes Duch is accused of are so grievous that releasing him might disrupt Cambodia’s “fragile” public order and cause public sensation which might harm his personal safety. Moreover, the crimes that Duch is facing might make him seek fleeing the court. Finally, due to their concerns, the witnesses and victims of the crimes he is accused of may be afraid and dare not take part in court if the accused is not detained. It should be noticed that the court ordered that Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, be placed in provisional detention not exceeding one year.
According to the press release of the ECCC on August 1, 2007, Kaing Guek Eav on July 31, 2007 decided to select two defense lawyers, Kar Savuth and François Roux. Duch states that he does not have the means to pay for his lawyers and so they have been assigned by the Defence Support Section for payment by the ECCC. Kar Savuth has been Duch’s lawyer for the past 8 years. He has been working as a lawyer since 1982 and has defended a lot of criminal clients. François Roux is a French lawyer who has practised law for over 30 years. He has defended four cases of genocide at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, including obtaining a not guilty verdict in the case of Bagilishema. He was also a member of the defence team for Zacarias MOUSSAOUI, implicated in the September 11th attacks in New York
-Extracted from Kampuchea Thmey, Vol. 6, #1407, Thursday, August 2, 2007.