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Duch to launch appeal

Duch to launch appeal

PROCEEDINGS at the Khmer Rouge tribunal in the case of Kaing Guek Eav are set to go before the court’s Supreme Court Chamber, as the former Tuol Sleng prison chief’s defence lawyer has said he plans to appeal against his client’s sentence.

In the most widely discussed aspect of Monday’s ruling, judges sentenced Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, to 30 years in prison. In calculating the sentence, the judges first arrived at a prison term of 35 years, then subtracted five years for the period of unlawful detention that Duch spent at a Cambodian military court between 1999 and 2007.

With credit for time already served in detention, he stands to be released in roughly 19 years.

“We will appeal against the decision,” said defence attorney Kar Savuth. During closing arguments in November, Duch and Kar Savuth argued for an acquittal.

Deputy prosecutor William Smith said he and his colleagues were in the process of “reviewing all aspects of the decision” and expected to make a call on an appeal “in the next couple of weeks”. Under the court’s rules, parties to the case must announce their intention to appeal within 30 days of the judgment.

Anne Heindel, a legal adviser at the Documentation Centre of Cambodia, said that given the fact that the prosecutors would have to prepare for proceedings before the Supreme Court Chamber in any case, they had little to lose in appealing as well.

“It really looks likely that both sides will appeal at this point,” she said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AFP

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