ECCC’s National Co-Prosecutor Confirms Duch’s Death

AKP Phnom Penh, September 02, 2020 —

The National Co-Prosecutor of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has confirmed the passing away of Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, former chief of Tuol Sleng Prison during the Khmer Rouge regime (1975-1979).

“The National Co-Prosecutor wishes to inform the public that the Convicted Person Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch, Cambodian, passed away in the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital on September 2, 2020 at 00:51. He was born on November 17, 1942 in Poy Veuy village, Peam Bang commune, Stoung district, Kampong Thom province. He was a professor and the former Chairman of S-21. He was arrested and detained on May 10, 1999 and transferred to the ECCC Detention Facility on July 30, 2007. On July 31, 2007, he was charged with crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949, torture and homicide under the Penal Code of 1956,” said the National Co-Prosecutor in a press release issued today.

On March 30, 2009, it added, the Trial Chamber commenced the trails against Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch and held evidential hearings of witnesses and civil parties for a 72-day period.

“On July 26, 2010, the trial judgment was pronounced, finding that Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch was in charge of S-21 for more than three years, causing the deaths of more than 12,272 victims. Therefore, the Trial Chamber convicted and sentenced him to 35 years in prison for extermination, murder, enslavement, imprisonment, torture and other inhumane acts under the crimes against humanity, as well as willful killing, torture and inhumane treatment, willful causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, and willfully depriving a prisoner of war or civilian of the rights of fair and regular trial, and unlawful confinement of a civilian under grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949,” it pointed out.

The trial judgment was appealed by the Co-Prosecutors, Civil Parties and Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch to the Supreme Court Chamber. On February 3, 2012, the Supreme Court Chamber issued an appeal judgment and sentenced Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch to life imprisonment, the same source continued.

Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch was transferred to Kandal Provincial Correctional Centre on June 6, 2013 to serve his sentence following the Supreme Court Chamber’s decision.

“Today, the National Co-Prosecutor notifies that Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch passed away according to the report of the officials involved, and the investigation into the cause of death of Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch is under the responsibility of the national authorities,” it concluded.

(Photo: Khem Sovannara)

By C. Nika