Duch Claims Noun Chea Berated Him for Failing to Dispose of S-21 Records
After Vietnamese troops ousted the regime of Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary and Khieu Samphan from Phnom Penh, Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch, chief of the security forces of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who was stationed in Tuol Sleng prison, had to flee for life too.
Duch, head of Tuol Sleng prison, left not only bodies of victims behind but also a lot of documents which later on Youk Chhang’s Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam) gathered and organized as documentary evidence.
In an interview with Far Eastern Economic Review’s reporter Nate Thayer before he was arrested by Phnom Penh government, Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, said that brother number two Nuon Chea, the second highest leader of the Democratic Kampuchea (DK) Regime, had blamed him heavily for not destroying those internal documents, thousands of photos and confession documents, and other evidence in Tuol Sleng prison before he fled away from Vietnamese troops.
Confession documents were very important for Khmer Rouge (KR) leaders since all of the people who were brought to Tuol Sleng prison or Bureau S-21 had only one fate—death. The interrogations conducted on the prisoners were not for trials, but they would be used for finding the network of the betrayers in order to capture them.
At the present time, only Duch, former head of Tuol Sleng prison, has been detained awaiting trails, in the provisional detention facility at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).
Meanwhile, it’s reported that Ky Tech, president of Cambodian Bar Association (CBA), has just allowed a French lawyer named Francois Roux to represent Kaing Guek Eav, alias as Duch, who was charged with crimes against humanity.
Other than this, Khieu Samphan, former head of KR State Presidium, claimed that he had already selected a famous French attorney named Jacques Verges, notably known for acting for infamous criminals around the world and also known as “Devil’s advocate”.
Nuon Chea, former president the National Assembly of the genocidal regime, claimed he would act for himself in the KR Tribunal and considered the tribunal as his last battle field.
According to the KR Tribunal’s internal rules, a Cambodian lawyer can cooperate with an international lawyer to defend the accused, while the accused can represent him/herself without a lawyer like the case of Nuon Chea, former brother number 2 of the KR regime.
Concerning the KR tribunal, Joseph Adamo Mussomeli, U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, told the Cambodian-American community in Georgia that people would receive “real justice” in this issue in 1 or 2 years more.
“As many as 12 people would be brought to the trials of the genocidal crimes,” said the US ambassador.
It should be noticed that lawyer Kar Savuth, who has represented Duch since his arrest, still hasn’t commented anything on the addition of the French lawyer.
Researchers of Tuol Sleng prison, once directed by Duch, said that the present Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum was a former ruthless torturing center during the KR regime.
Though KR leader Nuon Chea used to admire the bravery of the KR soldiers, most of the Tuol Sleng’s prisoners were former soldiers who served and were loyal to the KR revolutionary movement.
Those prisoners were brought to Tuol SLeng prison since they had been suspected of betraying the revolution. Thousands of KR soldiers, moreover, were captured to Tuol Sleng prison because their commanders were accused of betraying the revolutionary organization or “Angkar”. Among those prisoners in Tuol Sleng prison, there were also senior cadres, diplomats, and factory workers. “Those prisoners included district, provincial, and regional governors, military commanders, military officers, soldiers, factory workers, and ordinary people,” said Nhem En, former photographer at Tuol Sleng prison.
It has been said that if a KR soldier or cadre was alleged to have betrayed [the Angkar], his innocent wife and children would also be arrested and killed. This was the leadership of the Killing Fields, led by the Khmer Rouge.
-Extracted from Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3232, Thursday, August 09, 2007.