Khmer Rouge jailer Duch seeks acquittal & forgiveness
Posted: 30 March 2011 2241 hrs

PHNOM PENH : Ex-Khmer Rouge cadre Duch asked for forgiveness for running a feared jail where thousands died, but maintained he was only following orders as he took the stand for a final time on Wednesday.

Cambodia's UN-backed court sentenced Duch, 68, in July to 30 years' jail for war crimes and crimes against humanity for overseeing the deaths of some 15,000 people at the notorious prison Tuol Sleng - or S-21 - in the late 1970s.

Reading from a handwritten note, Duch said he only survived the brutal regime "because I respectfully and strictly followed the orders", even if at times he felt "very depressed".

He asked "for forgiveness of the souls of the victims" and "for the families of those victims to accept my apology", echoing statements made at his original trial before his shock demand to be acquitted in his closing speech in November 2009.

In three days of hearings this week, the defence, prosecution and civil parties all appealed against the punishment.

In his final address to the Supreme Court Chamber on Wednesday, Duch said "the senior leaders and those most responsible were others, not me".

Duch's lawyers are seeking a full acquittal and release, arguing that he falls outside the court's jurisdiction because he was "just a minor secretary".

The prosecution wants a life term, commuted to 45 years in jail for time spent in unlawful detention.

He also urged former regime members "to recognise that we joined the movement... to liberate the country, however the party's line was criminal".

Led by "Brother Number One" Pol Pot, who died in 1998, the Khmer Rouge wiped out up to two million people through starvation, overwork and execution.

S-21, in Phnom Penh, was at the centre of the regime's security apparatus and thousands were taken from there for execution at a nearby "killing field".

Duch has been detained since 1999, when he was found working as a Christian aid worker in the jungle. He was formally arrested by the tribunal in July 2007.

- AFP/al

Cambodia Town Film Festival 2015 tickets now on sale GET IT NOW!

One of the key purposes of Cambodian Town Film Festival (CTTF) is to highlight the diversity of the Cambodian experience through the art of filmmaking. By specifically featuring films that deal with Cambodian social political conflicts, traditions, challenges and characters, the Festival will deepen Cambodian values and encourage new dialogue on a global scale. BUY IT NOW - CLICK HERE


Collector Digital Art to honor the 40 Year Remembrance of the Khmer Rouge's invasion of Phnom Penh. The artwork is printed on a high gloss wooden board and makes a great wall art for decoration. * Collector's edition, ONLY (40) are printed.

Angkor Wat Starry Night Reprints

Angkor Wat Starry Night Canvas Print 11x17

These are reproduction of an oil painting done by Ponnamy Kiep reprinted on a canvas with a theme inspired by Van Gogh's Starry Night.

In Remembrance of 40 Years CTFF Limited Collector's Edition Dog Tag

April 17, 1975 is a day all Cambodians remember. It was the day the Khmer Rouge regime overtook Phnom Penh, an event that ignited a horrific genocide that killed nearly 2 million innocent lives and affected an infinite more.

In rememberance of all those that fought for freedom, those who survived, and those we have lost, Cambodia Town Film Festival has created this Limited Collector's Edition Dog Tag.


Immersed in a vibrant world where bets and wagers are a part of everyday living, 17 year old Paulina has found herself attracted to the game; a love understood and shared by her father, Sam, and an avid community of Cambodian gamblers. Met with strong disapproval from her sister Sopheap, Paulina remains strongly tied to the community. But soon she finds herself in the midst of her father’s war with addiction, and the realities of this world is unmasked; Paulina must inevitably choose between the world she is drawn to and the life she might someday want.

Site Mailing List  Sign Guest Book  View Guest Book