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Tribunal to distribute Duch verdict

Tribunal to distribute Duch verdict

THE Khmer Rouge tribunal yesterday announced plans to distribute thousands of copies of its verdict against former Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch.

Speaking to reporters at a printing house in Tuol Kork district yesterday, court spokesman Reach Sambath said that 17,000 copies of a 36-page summary of the court’s historic verdict would be printed, along with 5,000 copies of the full 450-page verdict.

“It is very important for Cambodian people and students to learn and to understand about the reason that the court sentenced Duch to 35 years in prison,” he said.

The printing will be finished in the next two weeks, he said, at which point the court will distribute copies to every commune in the country.

The court rendered its 30-year sentence against Duch on July 26, a term that had been reduced by five years due to his illegal detention by the military beginning in 1999. Taking into account time served, the 68-year-old will spend 19 years in prison, an outcome that some observers have criticised as too light.

Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Centre of Cambodia, said the publication of the verdict would be important in increasing awareness of the reasoning behind the sentence.

“It’s important for people to define the crimes committed against them and to define their future,” he said. “The verdict is the final judgment, and the people may decide if they are happy with it or not.”

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