Duch To Be Brought To Tuol Sleng, Choeung Ek on Feb 26-27 for On-Sight Investigations
Posted by khmernews on March 4, 2008
The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has issued a public notice of the on-sight investigations related to the trial of Tuol Sleng’s former prison director Duch.
According to the notice, the Co-Investigating Judges will visit the two respective crime scenes—Tuol Sleng and Choeung Ek—next week ahead of the trial of Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, former director of Tuol Sleng prison.
The notice states that:
“As part of the on-going work of the Office of the Co-Investigating Judges, on-site investigations are being held on Tuesday 26 Feb 2008 at Choeung Ek and on Wednesday 27 Feb at Tuol Sleng.
Such on-site investigations are a normal part of judicial investigation, which is confidential. On those dates the respective sites and their surrounding areas will be closed to the public, including the press. Appropriate and strict security measures will be in place.
We regret any inconvenience that may be caused by these closures, and are confident that everyone will facilitate the work of the ECCC. We hope that this advance notice will enable people to re-schedule their activities if they had planned to visit the sites on those days.”
Reach Sambath, ECCC’s spokesman, said that the investigations will be made to process the case file of former S-21 director Kaing Guek Eav, commonly known as Duch, whose trial is expected to get underway soon. “This is the prior notice for people who have wished to visit Tuol Sleng and Choeung Ek museums to know about the closure of the areas because the tribunal’s officials will need to carry out investigations there,” he said, adding: “After the investigations, the two museums will be re-opened to public as usual.”
Tuol Sleng and Choeung Ek museums, in which over 20,000 are believed to have atrociously been executed, were once under the control of Duch. Choeung Ek was the killing fields while Tuol Sleng was a place for torture and interrogations. The two sites are very important for judicial investigation regarding the leadership of Duch. That’s the reason why the Khmer Rouge court has decided to close the areas during the investigative period.
This shows that the process of the trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders has begun. In the process of the investigations on the two sites, Duch will be taken with to show the ways he led and tortured prisoners. The investigations are, to say, very significant for the Khmer Rouge trial.
-Extracted from Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, vol. 15, #3255, Saturday, February 23, 2008.