Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - 'I betrayed friends,' says S-21 chief

'I betrayed friends,' says S-21 chief

'I betrayed friends,' says S-21 chief

Former Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, told Cambodia's war crimes court Thursday that he made a conscious effort to ignore friends and colleagues who were sent to the torture facility, an act he said was tantamount to betrayal.

"I would like to reiterate that my friends who were arrested and detained at S-21 were numerous, and I had to get away from them. I betrayed friends and colleagues," he said.

"I had to pretend not to see them because I did not want to face them."

He went on to say that all detainees at the prison were considered enemies and were doomed to be executed.

Duch's comments came in response to the testimony of Chum Sirath, 68, a civil party who said his brother, Chum Narith, had studied with the prison chief in 1968. Chum Narith was arrested and sent to Tuol Sleng in 1976.

"I have struggled constantly, every day and night, trying to forget the suffering and misery of my siblings," said Chum Sirath, who was living in Switzerland during the regime but who lost two brothers and a sister-in-law to it.

Chum Sirath also said he did not believe Duch's oft-repeated confessions and apologies were genuine, prompting Trial Chamber President Nil Nonn to assure him that the chamber would issue a "fair and just" verdict.

I have struggled constantly, every day and night, trying to forget...

"The proceedings before this chamber have been ongoing for several months, and at the end the chamber will consider all the information and evidence and then issue a judgement, which will be fair and just," Nil Nonn said.
Court spokesman Reach Sambath said Thursday that proceedings in the Duch case would conclude in late September or early October, and that a verdict would be reached in early 2010.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • We’re going to Wisney World!

    More than 6,000 mostly Chinese attendees witnessed the inauguration ceremony of a $1 billion Sihanoukville resort project called Wisney World in the capital on Wednesday. The event on Koh Pich, attended by several senior Cambodian government officials, is a joint venture between China’s AMC International and

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,