The Khmer Rouge’s chief jailer, who admitted overseeing the torture and killings of as many as 16,000 Cambodians while running the regime’s most notorious prison, has died. Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch, was 77 and had been serving a life prison term for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
He died at a hospital in Cambodia early Wednesday morning, said Neth Pheaktra, a spokesperson for the tribunal in Phnom Penh that handled the trials over the regime’s crimes.
Duch was admitted to Cambodian Soviet Friendship Hospital after developing difficulty breathing Monday at the Kandal provincial prison, said Chat Sineang, chief of the prison where Duch had been transferred from the tribunal’s prison facility in 2013. He added that the body would be examined for a cause of death before being handed to his family.