PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – A U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal was expected to issue a decision Monday in the trial of the Khmer Rouge’s chief jailer and torturer – the first verdict involving a leader of the genocidal regime that created Cambodia’s killing fields.
Kaing Guek Eav, 67, better known as Duch, ran Toul Sleng – the secret detention center reserved for “enemies” of the state. He admitted overseeing the deaths of up to 16,000 men, women and children.
Though widely expected to be found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, many in this still-traumatized nation are anxiously awaiting the sentence. Anything short of the maximum life behind bars could trigger public outrage.