Duch appeal - last and flat

13 April 2011 by Thierry Cruvellier

March 28: The first time the appeals bench of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) appears in public session. The learned assembly of nine judges, sitting behind eighteen flat computer screens, curves like a spine.

Wearing a beige jacket, blue shirt and grey pants, Duch, the 68-year old former director of the Khmer Rouge torture and death centre, S-21, stands before them.

“The main point is personal jurisdiction. It is purely a legal matter,” he says. Then he sits down and leaves the floor to his lawyers.

Nothing to do with facts

Kaing Guek Eav, (Duch), was convicted last July of crimes against humanity and war crimes for the detention, torture, and murder of more than 12,000 people between April 1975 and January 1979. He was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment. His appeal, however, had nothing to do with the facts or specific legal findings of the Trial Chamber. He now claimed that his case was outside the jurisdiction of this tribunal because he was neither a “senior leader” nor “most responsible” for the crime committed by the Communist Party of Kampuchea under Pol Pot’s rule.

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