S-21 Guard Testimony Challenged By Victims, Defense

Former S-21 guard Him Huy on Mon­­day was buffeted by challenges to his credibility from civil party and defense lawyers, who ac­cused him of beating detainees, ly­ing and giving false testimony about the accused’s actions at the Choeung Ek killing fields.

On the final day of his testimony, Mr Huy, 54, now a Kandal pro­vince farm­er, nevertheless re­ceived the sup­­port of the ac­cus­ed, former sec­ret police chairman Kaing Guek Eav, who said the witness’ account had been truthful, suffering only minor “shortcomings.”

Both defense and civil party law­yers asked Mr Huy to respond to claims by S-21 survivor Bou Meng, a civil party who claimed that Mr Huy had beaten him during his de­tention at the Tuol Sleng facility.

Silke Studzinsky, a lawyer representing group 18 civil parties at the trial, confronted Mr Huy with Mr Meng’s claim to have been beaten.

“Mr Bou Meng, who was prisoner and who was tortured in S-21, said he was tortured by Him Huy,” she said. “Can you confirm this state­ment that he was ill treated and beaten by you?”

“I was not entitled the right to in­terrogate any detainee, so I could not be in position to torture any of the detainees,” responded Mr Huy.

Ms Studzinsky cited records of a jud­icial confrontation in February last year between the accused, best known as Duch, and witnesses, dur­ing which she said, Mr Huy had admitted to abusing detainees.

“I want to know why did you tell this lie to the co-investigating jud­ges in February last year?” she asked.

Mr Huy said he and other S-21 staff had jovially mocked Mr Meng’s small stature and challenged him to prove his strength by carry­ing Mr Huy on his shoulders.

“I have never beaten him be­cause I was not vested with any au­th­ority to beat any detainee,” he said.

Duch said Mr Huy’s testimony had passed muster.

“I can conclude that the basic truth has been already revealed but still there are shortcomings, al­though the shortcomings are not sig­­nificant,” said Duch.

“I confirm that all these testimonies are true but I think he should not have said something about the arguments between [S-21 deputy chairman] comrade Hor and me,” said Duch. “He did not witness that.”

Defense lawyer Francois Roux also challenged Mr Huy’s account of his treatment of Mr Meng, saying that at the 2008 confrontation Mr Meng had shown investigators scars on his back which he said came from beatings partly administered by Mr Huy.

Mr Huy maintained that he had never beaten Mr Meng or intended to harm him.

Mr Roux also challenged Mr Huy’s testimony that Duch had visited the Choeung Ek killing fields twice and personally ordered Mr Huy to carry out an execution.

Mr Roux again referred to the Mr Huy’s statements of last year.

“You stated at the location first that Duch came to Choeung Ek from time to time, and then in ans­wer to questions, you said that he came once or twice,” said Mr Roux. “In answer to a question that was put to you by the defense, you said that you did not know whether he came more than once.”

“I saw Duch go there on two oc­casions,” said Mr Huy. “I still stand on my statement.”



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