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Indicted ex-Khmer Rouge prison chief appeals pre-trial detention

[JURIST] Former Khmer Rouge prison chief Kaing Khek Iev [TrialWatch profile], also known as Duch, has appealed his pre-trial detention, Duch's lawyers said Wednesday. Lawyers filed the appeal last week asking that Duch be released on bail, but have declined to comment further on the filing. Duch has admitted to overseeing the notorious S-21 prison [backgrounder] and has indicated that he is willing to testify against other members of the Khmer Rouge [JURIST report].

Duch, one of five former Khmer Rouge leaders under investigation by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive], was arrested in 1999 on genocide charges and was subsequently charged by a military court with crimes against humanity in 2002 and war crimes [JURIST report] in March in an effort to keep Duch in custody while the ECCC started operations. The ECCC was established by a 2001 law [text as amended 2005, PDF] to investigate and try those responsible for the Cambodian genocide that occurred between 1975-1979. The genocide resulted in the deaths of approximately one-third of the Cambodian population. To date, no top Khmer Rouge officials have faced trial, and the charges against Duch are first charges brought by the tribunal. AFP has more.

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