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Tuol Sleng ex-guard denies survivor's torture allegation

Tuol Sleng ex-guard denies survivor's torture allegation

Him Huy says he and survivor Bou Meng were merely playing.

A FORMER guard at S-21 prison on Monday denied having tortured one of the few survivors of the detention centre, telling Cambodia's war crimes court that the two had simply been playing.

Him Huy, who began testifying on Thursday, told civil party lawyers that he had not intended to hurt survivor Bou Meng, who said in earlier testimony that Him Huy had abused him.

"I did not intend to do him any harm," he said, describing an incident in which he had challenged Bou Meng to carry the guard on his back.
"I noticed how small he was and made fun of him."

Lawyer Silke Studzinsky urged Him Huy to tell Bou Meng what happened to his wife.

"I can only confirm that the wives of those detained were killed," Him Huy said.

The accused, former S-21 chief Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, asked the guard to tell him what happened to a professor who was also detained at S-21.

But Him Huy said he did not know, maintaining that he had been "like a horse" that could only "look straight".

Though on Thursday he described how he killed a prisoner at the Choeung Ek killing fields, he said Monday that he had never used torture because he was illiterate and could not write confessions. He also told defence lawyers that he considered himself to be a victim of the regime.

"We all were victims," Him Huy said. "We seem to be reborn. Talking about those who survived, we are the lucky group, and we only want justice."
Him Huy also told the court Monday that he believed Duch had the ability to release prisoners, a claim Duch has repeatedly rejected.

Ex-student recalls Duch
One of Duch's former maths students, Tep Sok, 64, attended the hearing on Monday, having travelled from his hometown in Kampong Cham province after receiving an invitation from the court.

He told reporters that he felt pity seeing his former high school teacher, who he said had been a "serious" teacher who "treated students equally".

"He asked the students to study hard and take that knowledge to serve the country," he recalled.

"I'm deeply disappointed and very sorrowful," said Tep Sok, who noted that Duch had waved to him as he entered the public gallery.

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