"There is a risk he will disappear again" 03 Dec 2007
The Pre-Trial Chamber of the ECCC in Cambodia has dismissed the appeal of "Duch", the former S-21 Security Centre Director, in which he sought provisional release after eight years in custody.

Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)In its Decision of 3 December, the Pre-Trial Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) dismissed the appeal of Kaing Guek Eav, better known as “Duch”, who was appealing against a provisional detention order requiring him to remain in pre-trial custody.

Duch has been charged with crimes against humanity for his role as Chairman of the S-21 Security Centre – a notorious prison during the Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1979. Thousands of those detaineed in the Toul Sleng Security Prison (S-21) were tortured and subsequently executed in Cambodia’s ‘killing fields’.

In April 1999, Duch was ‘discovered’ by two journalists in the Samlaut district, in the western province of Battambang. The accused was arrested on 9 May 1999 and has subsequently be held in custody by the Cambodian authorities and then by those of the specially created, UN-backed court in Phnom Penh.

In dismissing the appeal, the Judges stated that there was an appreciable risk that – facing life imprisonment – “he will disappear again”. The Pre-Trial Chamber also asserted that there was a threat to the former prison director’s own safety from the relatives of the victims tortured and executed during the period, if he were to be released pending the start of his landmark trial.

It is expected that Duch will be brought to trial before the ECCC around June 2008.

Press alert
Pre-Trial Chamber Decision (PDF)

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