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Genocide Trial Begins
Kaing Guek Eav — better known as Duch, who headed the S-21 prison in Phnom Penh — is charged with crimes against humanity and is the first of five defendants scheduled for long-delayed trials by the U.N.-assisted tribunal. The hearing Tuesday was procedural, and testimony was expected to begin only in late March.
Duch, driven to the hearing in a bulletproof car from a nearby detention center, intently followed the proceedings in a courtroom packed with some 500 people.
Duch, 66, is accused of committing or abetting a range of crimes including murder, torture and rape at S-21 prison — formerly a school — where up to 16,000 men, women and children were held and tortured, before being put to death.
A U.N.-backed genocide tribunal is set to begin on Feb. 17, 2009, to try five Khmer Rouge leaders accused of crimes against humanity. Duch, the commander of Toul Sleng under the Khmer rouge, will be the first leader to be tried.
Above: A tourist takes picture of human skulls Monday, Feb. 16, 2009, at Choeung Ek, one of the main Killing fields of the Khmer Rouge regime in the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
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