Duch seeks to appeal his sentence

Kar Savuth, the lawyer of Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, sentenced by the International Court of Phnom Penh to 19 years in prison as director of S-21, the infamous center for torture and execustions of the Pol Pot’s regime, appealed the sentence and said that such tribunal has not jurisdiction over the case because it was established only to process the top leaders of the regime. Duch, who is so far the only Khmer Rouge sentenced for war crimes in July 2010, was not a top leader in the murderous regime that is accused of the disappearance of 1.7 million persons between 1975 and 1979.

The appeal process will follow this week, but it runs along with other ones that search for an extention in the sentence to 45 years. For the already influential group of regime’s victims, 19 years in prision is too short sentence for a man who ordered, processed and supervised the torture and execution of about 16 thousand persons, including children, women, elderly, monks and even some foreigners.

Kaing Guek Eav, whose nom de guerre as Khmer Rouge was Duch, was sentenced by the international court of Phnom Penh for crimes against humanity and violations to the Geneva Convention. The sentence was of 30 years in prision, but his cooperation during the process, his unlawful retention in a military prision for a decade and his repeated demonstrations of repentance, down the sentence to 19 years, something which was frowned upon by the victims.

The argument for the appeal by lawyer Kar Savuth is that Kaing Guek Eav did not belong to the group of top leaders of the regime, thus he is not a direct responsible for the regime’s crimes and, then, the tribunal has not jurisdiction over his case, he argued. The Cambodian-UN tribunal was established to proceed the surviving top leaders of the regime.


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About Albeiro Rodas

Albeiro Rodas (in Cambodia Sky Ly Samnang), is a MA in Digital Communication, independent journalist and a Salesian of Don Bosco from Amalfi, Colombia, based in Cambodia since 1999. He is the creator of the Don Bosco schools of journalism in Sihanoukville and Kep with young people from poor communities and the founder of the Don Bosco Kep Children Fund. Medal for Social Commitment UPB (2010); among the 100 more upstanding Colombians abroad (Marca Colombia, 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X39xwdGtVXI) and among the 12 Colombians that are making this a better world 2013 (http://www.colombia.co/en/culture/colombians-that-are-making-this-a-better-world.html).

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