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Kaing Guek Eav, alias ‘Duch’, (1942), was the director of the Cambodian Security Prison S-21 between 1975 and 1979. Under his authority, countless violent acts were committed against the civilian population and he personally supervised torture. Duch was arrested and detained in May 1999 and indicted by the Cambodian Military Court for “crimes against domestic security and genocide, and subsequently with genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes against internationally protected persons.”
In 2007, Duch was the first of the former Khmer Rouge leaders to appear before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). Proceedings began in 2009, with the fi nal verdict pronounced on 26 July 2010. The Trial Chamber found Duch guilty of crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and sentenced him to 35 years’ imprisonment. However, Duch received a reduction of 5 years for his illegal detention by the Cambodian Military Court between 10 May 1999 and 30 July 2007. On Appeal in 2012 the Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC overturned 2010 decision of the Trial Chamber and sentenced Duch to life imprisonment, stating that “the Trial Chamber attached undue weight to mitigating circumstances and insufficient weight to the gravity of the crimes and aggravating circumstances in this case.”