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Tuol Sleng victims prepare to participate in Duch trial

Tuol Sleng victims prepare to participate in Duch trial

090205_03

Almost 100 victims of the Khmer Rouge's most brutal torture centre have applied to become civil parties at the upcoming trial

Photo by: SOVANN PHILONG

The main courtroom at the ECCC, where Duch’s trial will start February 17.

UP to 94 people who were victims of, or bore witness to, the atrocities

that occurred at Tuol Sleng, the Khmer Rouge's most notorious prison

camp, will participate in the upcoming trial of the torture centre's

former chief, Kaing Guek Eav, officials said.

According to a

statement from the court's Victims Unit, 66 new applications in

addition to an original 28 have been received from victims wishing to

be legally represented in the trial as a civil party, which allows them

to submit evidence and have access to the case file.

The

statement added that the recent influx of applications was due to the

court's outreach programs, which encouraged victims to take advantage

of the court's unique and largely experimental rules - ones that allow

greater victim participation than any other tribunal of its kind.

"As

a result of outreach activities ... an additional 66 Civil Party

applications were received. The Trial Chamber of the ECCC is in the

process of admitting the newly received applications," the statement

said.

Keat Bophal, head of the Victims Unit, told the Post

Wednesday that applications would likely be submitted to the trial

chamber by the end of the week, and that those seeking to become civil

parties included the "brothers, sisters and children" of people

tortured and killed at the regime's Choeung Ek "killing fields".

"Generally

speaking, DC-Cam-assisted civil parties are primarily relatives of

detainees at Tuol Sleng, with the exception of one survivor who barely

escaped death," a statement released by the Documentation Centre of

Cambodia this week said.

According to Keat Bophal, almost all applicants have access to a lawyer.

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