Comrade Duch, the head of the Khmer Rouge and the person who ran Cambodia’s notorious S-21 prison during the country’s genocide, died on Wednesday, a spokesman for the tribunal that convicted him of war crimes in 2010 said.
Journalists witnessed his body taken to a local temple early Wednesday, where it was cremated. A doctor’s letter confirming his death said he had died of “acute respiratory distress.”
Duch, 77, whose given name was Kaing Guek Eav, was the first Khmer Rouge commander convicted of crimes against humanity, before being sentenced in 2012. He was arrested in 1999 while working at an aid agency under a false name.