Duch's lawyers filed notice today that they will appeal the tribunal's verdict in Case 001, arguing that their client "does not fit into the category of persons under the jurisdiction of the ECCC". The appeal notice accuses the court of practicing "victors' justice" and failing "to demonstrate why it was convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the Prosecution evidence on which it relied proved that the Accused fell under its personal jurisdiction".
This language echoes the arguments made during closing arguments in November by defence attorney Kar Savuth, who said Duch could not be considered a senior leader when S-21 was just one among dozens of similar prisons in Democratic Kampuchea.
"Duch has been detained for 10 years," Kar Savuth said at the time. "Other chiefs of prisons have not been detained, so I think it is an appropriate time that the chamber release my client and allow him to go home."
Per the agreement between Cambodia and the UN, the court's mandate is to prosecute "senior leaders of Democratic Kampuchea and those who were most responsible" for crimes committed under regime.
The defence is also appealing the 30-year prison term handed down against Duch. Prosecutors announced earlier this month that they too were appealing the sentence, calling it "arbitrary and manifestly inadequate" in view of the gravity of Duch's crimes.
Duch prepares to deliver his closing statement at the ECCC in November (AFP/ECCC Pool).