A former Khmer Rouge prison chief has become the first of Pol Pot’s henchman to be charged with crimes against humanity by Cambodia’s UN-backed tribunal. Kang Kek Ieu appeared in front of judges probing the deaths of an estimated 1.7-million people. Also known as Duch, he has been held in a military jail since 1999 and has confessed to multiple atrocities. Thousands deemed opponents of the regime passed through his interrogation centre, known as S-21. Fewer than 10 are thought to have survived. Nic Dunlop, author of “The Lost Executioner” said: “I think there is very little doubt that he has been responsible for a whole range of abuses from torture to executions to not only carrying out orders that were given to him from above but also to act on his own initiative, with his own authority.” The jail is now a museum, bearing witness to the horrors. Duch is the first of five suspects prosecutors want investigated over crimes during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror from 1975-79.
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