Khmer Rouge torturer sentenced to 35 years (Lead)

July 26th, 2010 - 1:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Phnom Penh, July 26 (DPA) Comrade Duch, the former head of the Khmer Rouge’s notorious torture and execution prison known as S-21, was Monday sentenced to 35 years in jail at the UN-backed war crimes tribunal.
However, in his decision, court president Nil Nonn said Duch would benefit from deductions totalling 16 years, making the effective sentence 19 years.

Duch, who has spent the past 11 years in jail, would have that amount deducted from his sentence.

And he will benefit from a further five years deducted as compensation for being held illegally and for cooperating with the court.

Duch, whose real name is Kaing Guek Eav, has 90 days to appeal.

He was convicted of crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the Geneva conventions but the judge said there was not enough evidence to prove that he personally tortured anyone.

An estimated 20,000 people were tortured and condemned to death at S-21 as perceived enemies of the regime during the movement’s rule of Cambodia between 1975-79.

Around 1.7 million died from execution, overwork, starvation and disease under the Khmer Rouge regime.

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