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Nov 20,2007
Cambodia tribunal opens hearing
by UPI

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- The alleged main torturer in the Khmer Rouge regime appeared Tuesday before a genocide tribunal as it opened its hearing in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Kaing Guek Eav, the first of the five former Khmer Rouge leaders in custody, is charged with carrying out executions and torture at Phnom Penh's notorious Tuol Sleng interrogation center when his regime, believed to have killed some 2 million people, held power from 1975 until its overthrow by Vietnam in 1979.

Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, appeared for a pre-trial hearing before the U.N.-backed panel, CNN reported.

The charges say of the 17,000 political prisoners at the prison, only seven survived. The CNN report said the prisoners' names and details were recorded including mug shots taken before and after the torture.

The tribunal's job, expected to last three more years, is to bring surviving Khmer Rouge leaders to trial on crimes against humanity charges.

The latest to be arrested is former Khmer Rouge Premier Khieu Samphan, who was brought to the capital last week ago from his remote home for medical treatment.

Others in custody are former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary and his wife and Nuon Chea, a top Khmer Rouge leader.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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