The closing arguments have begun in the trial of the former prison chief of Cambodia’s notorious S-21 prison during the rule of Pol Pot.
Better known as comrade Duch, he is accused of crimes against humanity and many other terrors. He faces a maximum possible sentence of life imprisonment. Duch does not deny running S-21 but insists he was simply following orders. The 72-day trial has heard harrowing accounts of what happened to those held at the jail. Only 7 survived but thousands of Cambodians have followed the proceedings, like these two people: ‘‘Sometimes Duch laughs, sometimes he cries. It’s unbelievable. I cannot accept it.’‘ ‘‘I want to see how much the court punishes him, because I suffered so much during that regime.’‘ Thousands perished in the Phnon Penh facility. Duch’s trial is the first of several high-ranking Khmer Rouge officials to come.