Court plans live broadcast of Khmer Rouge verdict

Last Updated: Thursday, July 1, 2010 - 21:06

Phnom Penh: The verdict in the trial of Khmer
Rouge prison chief Duch will be broadcast live across Cambodia
when it is delivered later this month, the UN-backed court
said on Thursday.

Duch is the first leader from the hardline communist
regime to face international justice and observers have
stressed the need for proceedings to be open to ordinary
Cambodians, many of whom lived through the brutal rule.

During his trial the 67-year-old, whose real name is
Kaing Guek Eav, acknowledged responsibility and begged
forgiveness for overseeing the torture and execution of more
than 15,000 people at the notorious Tuol Sleng prison.
Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath said the broadcast would
help to "stop the return of mass killing" in Cambodia.

He said millions of people from across the country are
expected to tune in to major television and radio stations for
the verdict on July 26.

"The live broadcast will offer great opportunities for
millions of Cambodians who were the victims of the Khmer Rouge
regime to be involved in the process of justice," he said.

"The information of the judgement will offer a public
debate toward justice and national reconciliation."

The hearing is expected to last for several hours.

Up to two million people were executed or died of
starvation, disease and overwork as the 1975-1979 Khmer Rouge
movement emptied cities and enslaved the population on
collective farms in its bid to create a communist utopia.
Duch, whose trial began last February, is charged with
crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture and premeditated
murder.

Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot died in 1998. The joint trial
of four more senior regime leaders is expected to start in
2011.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, July 1, 2010 - 21:06

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