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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Life term sought for Khmer Rouge jailer sentenced to 19 years for war crimes, other offences

By The Associated Press

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — Prosecutors have appealed for a life sentence against the former Khmer Rouge jailer who in July received what many considered a lenient penalty for war crimes, crimes against humanity and related offences.

Cambodia's U.N.-backed genocide tribunal convicted Kaing Guek Eav — also known as Duch — and sentenced him to 19 years after considering that he co-operated, showed some expression of remorse and was not in the Khmer Rouge's inner circle.

Tribunal spokesman Lars Olsen said Tuesday prosecutors have filed documents seeking to have the court impose a stiffer sentence. The appeal was lodged Oct. 13 but posted publicly by the tribunal Tuesday.

In announcing their intention to appeal in August, the prosecutors said the original judgment "gives insufficient weight to the gravity of Duch's crimes and his role and his willing participation in those crimes."

The tribunal is seeking justice for the estimated 1.7 million people who died from execution, overwork, disease and malnutrition as a result of the radical policies of the 1975-79 communist Khmer Rouge regime.

Duch's lawyer had also announced his intention to appeal the court sentence and seek his client's release, but it is unclear whether he has officially done so.

Duch (pronounced DOIK) was the first defendant to be tried. He supervised a prison where as many as 16,000 people were tortured before being taken away for execution.

Also found guilty of torture and murder, Duch was originally sentenced to 35 years. Time served reduced the sentence 11 years, and he was compensated five years for illegal detention in a military prison.

Four more defendants are expected to go on trial by the middle of next year: Nuon Chea, the Khmer Rouge ideologist; Khieu Samphan, its former head of state; Ieng Sary, its foreign minister; and his wife Ieng Thirith, who was minister for social affairs.
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Parents, daughter murdered in Phnom Penh

A mother, father and their 16-year-old daughter have been found murdered in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district, their bodies apparently slashed and bashed with knives and bats.

Municipal Police Chief Touch Naruth said the bodies of the three victims –Ry Nalin and her parents, 52-year-old Ry Saron and 46-year-old Ne Sovannary – were found in their home in Village 7 with their hands tied behind their backs and their throats cut.

He said the three victims had multiple injuries inflicted with a variety of weapons.

“The suspects used a rope and killed the victims by stabbing them with a knife, [and also attacked them with] an axe and a bat. It is a cruel murder,” he said.

The killings bring to five the number of multiple murders reported in Cambodia since July.

The most recent such case occurred on October 9, when a 47-year-old woman, her 24-year-old daughter and a 17-year-old waitress were shot dead in Kandal province’s Takhmao the full story in tomorrow’s Phnom Penh Post or see the updated story online from 3PM UTC/GMT +7 hours.
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