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Khmer Rouge genocide tribunal denies bail for former prison chief

[JURIST] A unanimous panel of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive] Monday denied bail [decision, PDF; press release] to former Khmer Rouge official Kaing Guek Eav [TrialWatch profile], also known as Duch, for fear that he might flee or threaten witnesses. Defense lawyers had argued last month that Duch should be granted bail in the months before his as-yet unscheduled trial since his eight-year pre-trial detention [JURIST report] was a violation of his human rights. Prosecutors argued that Eav should be denied bail [JURIST report] to prevent violence that could threaten public order.

Duch, who was in charge of the notorious S-21 prison [Wikipedia backgrounder] in Phnom Penh, is one of five top leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime [JURIST news archive; BBC backgrounder] currently in ECCC custody. He was arrested in 1999 on genocide charges and was subsequently charged with war crimes by a military court in March and with crimes against humanity [JURIST reports] by the ECCC in July. Those charges were primarily brought to keep Duch in custody while the ECCC started operations. BBC News has more. AP has additional coverage.

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