Pattaya Daily News

25 July 2010 :: 14:07:41 pm 33320

Khmer Rouge Killer Sheds “Crocodile Tears” in Court

Beginning his trial for the murder and torture of some 15,000 people during the 1970’s Khmer Rouge regime, Kaing Guek Eav (known as Duch) appeared regretful in issuing an apology to the UN-backed War Crimes Court. Victims and families connected with the atrocities were quick to denounce the shows of emotion as merely “crocodile tears” aimed at evoking sympathy from the judges.
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Phnom Penh, the 24th of July 2010: Duch issued an apology to the court over his role in the blood-soaked regime in his last appearance before an expected sentencing next week. He told the judges of his “regret and heartfelt sorrow” for the torture and murder of some 15,000 people in the late 70’s.

During the bloodthirsty Khmer Rouge regime led by Pol Pot, Duch was the warden/commander of the notorious Tuol Sleng prison camp, known as S-21. Prosecutors allege that Duch’s meticulous documentation of prisoners demonstrated how he made Tuol Sleng one of the most efficient centres of torture and murder under the Khmer Rouge regime.

Shortly before his arrest in 1999, Duch became a born-again Christian and has since invited victims of his crimes to visit him in prison to receive personal apologise. Despite his numerous apologise, the majority of families or victims of Duch’s atrocities have branded the acts as a show, merely “crocodile tears” shed in an attempt to receive leniency from the judges.

“These tears, they are crocodile tears… He tried and managed to make himself cry just to get the pity of the judges,” Phung Guth Sunthary, whose father was killed at S-21, said. She stated that she was more convinced than ever that Duch’s contrition was not genuine following the end of trial proceedings.

Another victim, Chum Mey [79] stated, “Duch never talked about real things. Duch did not say sorry to the people — he just said sorry to the judges.” Chum Mey was one of a handful of inmates who survived Tuol Sleng’s horrors because he was useful as a mechanic. “He changed his testimony. Sometimes he said he was responsible, but then he would say he was acting under orders,” Chum Mey added.

According to Duch’s psychological profile cited in the official indictment, he showed an “endeavour to distance himself from his past actions”, but noted it was significant he expressed regret since 1999, when he was first arrested.

Most analysts say it’s highly unlikely Duch will be fully acquitted of his charges for war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and premeditated murder, but it will be down to the judges to decide if his remorse is genuine or not.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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