Only Duch Ordered Executions at S-21, Court Hears

Kaing Guek Eav, the S-21 prison chief better known as Duch—and the first Khmer Rouge official to be found guilty of crimes at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia—held ultimate power when it came to executions at the notorious security center, a former prison administrator told the court on Monday.

Suos Thy, who was responsible for maintaining lists of inmates at the prison in Phnom Penh, said orders to execute inmates came from Duch and were passed on by his deputy, Kim Vat, alias Hor.

“Hor would receive the orders from Duch. [Hor] had no authority to remove anyone or anybody unless there was an order from Duch. After receiving the orders from Duch, Hor would decide how to deal with those people,” Mr. Thy said.

“Hor himself had no authority to decide to kill anybody or any prisoner. Everything depended on Duch,” he added.

Duch, who is serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity, is due to return to the court this morning and testify over the course of nine days as part the current phase of Case 002, in which Khmer Rouge second-in-command Nuon Chea and the regime’s head of state, Khieu Samphan, are on trial for crimes including genocide.

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