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Duch hospitalised: Former S-21 prison chief seriously ill and fatigued

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
Former S-21 chief Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch is in the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital for emergency treatment. He fell seriously ill on Monday and is in critical condition and in intensive care. Fresh News

Former S-21 prison chief Kaing Guek Eav better known as Duch has been hospitalised at the Khmer Soviet Hospital since Monday after becoming ill while serving his life sentence.

Duch, 78, fell seriously ill at about 4pm on Monday in Kandal provincial prison where he has served his life sentence after becoming the first Khmer Rouge official to be found guilty by the Khmer Rouge tribunal of crimes against humanity in 2010, according to Kandal provincial prison chief Major General Chat Sineang.

Maj Gen Sineang said due to his feeble health, Duch was sent to the Khmer-Soviet Friendship hospital in Phnom Penh at about 9pm on the same day.

“According to the provincial prison doctors’ report, Duch has been fatigue due to his old age on Monday. We then decided to send him to the Khmer-Soviet Friendship hospital for a medical treatment,” he said.

“Duch is 78 and too old now. He has poor health,” he said. “I wish him a speedy recovery.”

Maj Gen Sineang said according to the doctor who treated and took care of him, Duch is in critical condition and in an intensive care.

He said in 2018, Duch was also sent to the Khmer-Soviet Friendship hospital after having respiratory problems and diarrhea.

Duch at the Khmer Rouge tribunal in Phnom Penh. ECCC

Ngy Meng, director of the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, declined to comment yesterday.

Duch oversaw S-21 where more than 15,000 people were sent to their deaths during the 1975-1979 Khmer Rouge reign of terror.

Duch began serving his prison term in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia detention centre in 2012 and was transferred to Kandal Provincial Prison in June 2013 to serve the remainder of his term.

He was apprehended by the military police in 1999.

On July 26, 2010, the Trial Chamber of the ECCC convicted him for crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and sentenced him to 35 years imprisonment.

His sentence was reduced by five years as a remedy for his illegal detention by the Cambodian Military Court between 10 May 1999 and 30 July 2007.

He also received credit for time already spent in detention under the authority of both the Cambodian Military Court and the ECCC.

The Supreme Court Chamber sentenced him to life imprisonment on February 3, 2012 and quashed the previous sentence of 35 years imprisonment imposed by the Trial Chamber on 26 July 2010, and by majority the Chamber also quashed the Trial Chambers’ decision to reduce his sentence with 5 years as a remedy for his illegal detention by the Cambodian Military Court between May 10, 1999 and July 30, 2007.

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