Dismissal Likely for Duch as Judges Reject Charges Request

A dismissal appeared likely for S-21 Chairman Kaing Guek Eav on Wednesday as the Khmer Rouge tribunal refused a request by prosecutors to notify the former secret police chief of any charges for which he may be indicted in the court’s recently concluded investigation.

Though Kaing Guek Eav, best known as Duch, stood trial last year for his role as commander of S-21, he was also investigated in the court’s second case concerning crimes alleged to have occurred across the nation.

Before the second investigation drew to a close in January, judicial investigators decided to notify Brother Number Two Nuon Chea, former Foreign Minister Ieng Sary, Social Action Minister Ieng Thirith and head of state Khieu Samphan of the specific criminal allegations for which they may be indicted later this year.

Prosecutors on Jan 21 asked that the same be done for Duch, 67. However, in a decision published Wednesday, Co-Investigating Judges You Bunleng and Marcel Lemonde said this was unnecessary.

In their decision, Judges Lemonde and Bunleng found that, while suspects must be notified of the allegations for which they will be indicted, “it is obvious that the co-investigating judges can issue a dismissal” without such notification.

“It is not foreseen to organize a second trial for the interested party and, under these circumstances, it appears needless to summon him” in order to clarify the allegations, the judges found.

Francois Roux, Duch’s French defense lawyer, could not be reached on Friday. However Kar Savuth, the Cambodian defender, said yesterday he was unaware of Wednesday’s decision.

Mr Savuth drove a wedge through the defense during closing arguments in November with a surprise request for acquittal, repudiating the strategy of contrition pursued by Mr Roux since 2007.

Mr Savuth said he believed a second indictment of his client was unlikely but declined to say why.

“According to my thoughts, Kaing Guek Eav is not part of that case,” he said, referring to the second case file.


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