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Cambodia: Trial begins for Khmer Rouge leader

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia for the Prosecution of Crimes Committed during the Period of Democratic Kampuchea or The ECCC began the first public hearing on March 30 of Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch. During the Khmer Rouge regime, Duch headed the infamous Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh where thousands died.

The proceedings’ webcasts are available through the Cambodia Tribunal Monitor; the first segment is below:

Pineapple asks questions about how S-21, the Tuol Sleng prison of which Duch was in charge, fits into the larger meaning of the trial:

S-21 as the distillation of what was at the core of the Khmer Rouge regime rather than a tourist concern? A costly exercise in being seen to be doing something about the 1975-79 period? Rather than the 1970-79 or 1979-93 years. I would guess that an examination of the past could become a little tricky if the dates are changed.

Meanwhile, KI Media posted a story from the Phnom Penh Post revealing Duch may soon confess at the trial.

Details are Sketchy has compiled mainstream media coverage of the trial here.

The ECCC's invitation to the public sessions is available here. Duch's trial continues on March 31, 2009.

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