Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The First ECCC Indictment

In Phnom Penh on Tuesday, Khang Khek Ieu--"Comrade Duch"--was indicted by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. The former commandant of the infamous Tuol Sleng prison, where 14,000 people were tortured before being sent to their deaths in the killing fields near Phnom Penh between 1975 and 1979, was charged with crimes against humanity.

Duch's indictment was the first of five expected to come from the Introductory Submission presented by the Co-Prosecutors on July 18. Of the five who are believed to have been named in the Introductory Submission, Duch is the only one in custody and the only one to have confessed to crimes. His indictment, consequently, is less likely to present political problems or enforcement challenges for the tribunal than those yet to come.

For the ECCC's press release concerning the indicment, go here (.pdf). And for an excellent commentary in the Independent, see this brief essay.