Today is a red-letter day in the Kingdom, for it is THE day when the UN-backed Khmer Rouge Tribunal hands down the historic verdict against one of the Khmer Rouge’s notorious leaders.
Case Number One is the case against Kang Kek Iew, alias Commander Duch, a former schoolteacher-turned-Tuol-Sleng prison Chief. He is the first known KR leader to be tried, and convicted, for crimes against humanity, war crimes, premeditated murder, and torture. He was slapped a 35 year imprisonment. 35 years for brutally murdering more than 10,000 people!!!!
His trial lasted several months, beginning in March 2009, was widely followed by the Cambodians most especially those who were carrying the scars experienced during the regime. During the said trial, he recognised the crimes he committed under the atrocious KR regime and used it as a platform to ask for public forgiveness. In a surprise move, Duch demanded the court that he be acquitted.
Four other Khmer Rouge top leaders who are already in government custody will also be put to trial next year.