Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Duch rebuts torture claim

Duch rebuts torture claim

Duch rebuts torture claim

THE KHMER Rouge tribunal heard further claims on Tuesday that Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, participated in the interrogation and physical abuse of Tuol Sleng detainees - an accusation promptly denied by the prison chief.

Sam Meth, 51, said Monday that he worked as a guard at the prison and saw Duch personally beat a detainee with a rattan stick. On Tuesday he stood by previous statements to investigators in which he said Duch kicked and threatened detainees.

Prosecutor Anees Ahmed read from the November 2007 statements describing interrogation sessions Sam Meth said he witnessed at the "special prisons" he was tasked with guarding.

"Sometimes [Tuol Sleng senior interrogator Tuy] interrogated, and if he was unclear, then Duch came in and asked the prisoner, 'Are you going to talk to us or not?' Then Duch would kick the prisoner once or twice and say, 'Soon you will know,'" Sam Meth said in the statement.

Duch responded by saying that staff at Tuol Sleng did not deviate from strictly defined roles, and that he, as chairman, was not involved in interrogations.

"In the role of the leadership, I could not spare my time to involve [myself] in those interrogations even if I wanted to do so," he said.

Sam Meth also said on Tuesday that Duch inspected prisoners' quarters, but he backed away from his earlier claim that Duch visited the site daily.

"If he wanted to grasp the understanding of the case, he would come," he said. "Or when he was available he would just walk through ... inspecting the prisoners' rooms."

Duch, who has testified that he rarely visited Tuol Sleng, cited just three visits to interrogation rooms: two to that of Tuol Sleng senior interrogator Pon and one to that of Tuy.

Duch later agreed "in principle" with the testimony of Tuy Teng, a guard who described executions at the Choeung Ek killing fields.

"When the prisoners fell over, [the executioners] removed the handcuffs," Tuy Teng said in a statement that was read aloud. "Then they also used knives to finish killing them, but I don't know if they cut open their bellies or cut their throats. I just saw that, after the killings, they took away palm leaf blades stained with blood."

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman