Case 001

Case 001 was  the first case before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch, the former Chairman of the Khmer Rouge S-21 Security Center in Phnom Penh was the defendant in Case 001. 

Duch was transferred from military detention and placed in provisional detention on 31 July 2007 by order of the Co-Investigating Judges. Duch was indicted by the Co-Investigating Judges on 8 August 2008, and the indictment was confirmed and partially amended by the Pre-Trial Chamber on 5 December 2008.
After an Initial Hearing on 17 and 18 February 2009, the substantive part of the trial commenced on 30 March 2009. The presentation of evidence concluded on 17 September 2009. The hearings before the Trial Chamber ended with five days of closing statements between 23 and 27 November 2009.
During the 72 days of hearing of evidence, 9 expert witnesses, 17 fact witnesses, 7 character witnesses and 22 Civil Parties were heard before the Trial Chamber. Over the course of the trial, the Chamber examines seven thematic areas of relevance to the proceedings: issues relating to M-13; establishment of S-21 and the Takmao prison; implementation of CPK policy at S-21; armed conflict; functioning of S-21, including Choeung Ek; establishment and functioning of S-24; and issues relating to the character of the Accused. Approximately 1,000 documents were put before the Chamber and subjected to examination.  More than 31,000 people followed the proceedings at the court building.
26 July 2010, the Trial Chamber convicted Kaing Guek Eav for crimes against humanity  and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and  and sentenced him to 35 years imprisonment. His sentence was reduced by five years as a remedy for his illegal detention by the Cambodian Military Court between 10 May 1999 and 30 July 2007. He also received credit for time already spent in detention under the authority of both the Cambodian Military Court and the ECCC.
As for civil claims, the Trial Chamber  admitted 64 applicants as Civil Parties and awarded the following reparations:
  • Inclusion of the names of admitted Civil Parties and their deceased family members in the judgment; 
  • The Trial Chamber also ordered the compilation and publication of all statements of apology and acknowledgement of responsibility made by Duch.
The Accused and the Co-Prosecutors appealed the Trial Chamber verdict to the Supreme Court Chamber. In total, 41 Civil Parties, including 22 rejected Civil Party applicants, also filed appeals against the Trial Chamber’s decision on their admissibility and/or claims for reparations.
The Supreme Court Chamber held oral hearings in the appeals against the Trial Chamber's judgment in Case 001 on 28-30 March 2011. The Supreme Court Chamber announced its decision on appeals on February 3rd 2011. 
Granting the appeal by the Co-Prosecutors, it quashed the 35-year sentence handed down by the Trial Chamber on July 6 2010 and sentenced KAING Guek Eav to life imprisonment (the maximum possible term under the law). By a Supermajority decision, the Supreme Court quashed the decision of the Trial Chamber to grant a remedy in form of reducing  KAING Guek Eavs sentence witf five years due to time he has spent illegally detained by the Cambodian Military. The Supreme Court Chamber also dismissed Kaing Guek Eve’s appeal in which he alleged that he was not within the personal jurisdiction of the court
The Supreme Court stated the Trial Chamber had erred in law by attaching insufficient weight to the gravity of KAING Guek Eavs crimes as well as the aggravating circumstances in this case, and that that too much weight  had been attached to the mitigating circumstances. 
The Supreme Court Chamber also granted the appeal from 10 civil party applicants who had been previously rejected by the Trial Chamber in the trial judgment. On appeal, these Civil Parties substantiated their applications and were admitted as civil parties in case 001. The Supreme Court Chamber also decided on appeals from civil Parties related to the Trial Chambers ruling on their requests for collective and moral reparations. The Supreme Court Chamber affirmed that the Trial Chambers decision to compile and post on the ECCC website all statements of apology and acknowledgement of responsibility made by Duch during the course of the ECCC proceedings.
Following the decision of the Supreme Court Chamber 3 February 2012, which partially confirmed and amended the Trial Chamber Judgement as well as overturning the decision on sentencing, Kaing Guek Eav has been found guilty pursuant to Articles 5, 6 and 29 (new) of the ECCC Law of the following crimes committed in Phnom Penh and within the territory of Cambodia between 17 April 1975 and 6 January 1979:
  • Crimes against humanity                                                                                                  
           - persecution on political grounds,
           - extermination (encompassing murder),
           - enslavement,
           - imprisonment,
           - torture and
           - other inhumane acts
  • Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949,                                                                                                                                              
           - wilful killing,      
           - torture and inhumane treatment, 
           - wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, 
           - wilfully depriving a prisoner of war or civilian of the rights of fair and    
             regular trial, and
           - unlawful confinement of a civilian

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Witnesses, experts and Civil Parties who have appeared in Case 002. Click on photo for larger version.


Professor Craig Etcheson was called as an expert to testify on the implementation of the Communist Party of Kampuchea's (CPK) policy. Expert Craig Etcheson outlined the command structure of the CPK, identifying the Central Committee as its 'most powerful organ' and the Standing Committee as its executive body, exercising 'total control of the government'. He told the Trial Chamber that Democratic Kampuchea organs were organized with absolute hierarchical authority and that the Party Centre exercised centralized control over communication. He described the CPK ideology as being based upon principles of 'centralism', 'collectivism', and 'independence mastery'. Expert Craig Etcheson then described S-21 as the penultimate node in the power pyramid of DK. He argued that S-21 was a unique security center for several reasons: it had the authority to arrest individuals from the entire territory, it was designed to smash the highest ranking individuals, it had the greatest number of staff members, confessions and interrogation procedures were far more elaborate, and its Chairman directly reported to the upper echelon on a daily basis. Expert Craig Etcheson described the Accused as an innovator, a creator, a developer and an institutionalizer of the methods of making very detailed confessions that are extracted over long periods of time. He argued that purges were both driven by the paranoia of the CPK Standing Committee and the zeal of the Accused. He further identified the Accused as the principal trainer of torture techniques. 

Mr. Chan Voeun Mr. Chan Voeun

Chan Voeun, 56, was called as a witness to testify about M-13, a security office located in an area under Khmer Rouge control, which had been supervised by Kaing Guek Eav. Mr. Voeun claims to have been a staff member of M-13 in his twenties, working in the economics unit from 1974 to 1975. Formerly assigned to find food for prisoners, he told the Trial Chamber that he was only present on M-13 premises once or twice a month. Because he allowed three detainees to escape while on guard duty, he recounted that he was arrested and imprisoned by Duch at M-13. He then escaped to his commune, was sent back to M-13 by his village chief, and subsequently set free b Duch. As a witness, Chan Voeun testified on the detention conditions, interrogation methods, and executions at M-13. He told the Trial Chamber that many villagers from Amleang sub-district, including his uncle and his aunt, were detained at M-13 and that he was hated by Amleang villagers for working with Duch. He testified that he personally witnessed Duch carrying out interrogations and torturing detainees. Duch also allegedly shot his uncle dead with an AK-rifle. The Accused contested the testimony from the witness and also denied that the witness had been a staff member of M-13. Over the course of his testimony, inconsistencies between the witness' testimony and the statements he had made before the Co-Investigating Judges were raised. 

Mr. Chan Khan Mr. Chan Khan

Chan Khan was called as a witness to testify about M-13, a security office located in areas under Khmer Rouge control, which had been supervised by Kaing Guek Eav.  In 1973, Chan Khan was recruited as a teenager to be a soldier, but he was instead sent to M-13 to work as a guard. He remained there until late 1973 or early 1974, when he was sent to work in the rice fields of Oudong with other warders and prisoners. As a witness, Chan Khan testified on detention conditions at M-13 with specific regard to medical care therein. He recalled that many detainees died because of a lack of health care and that they did not receive treatment for wounds from interrogations. Over the course of his testimony, inconsistencies between the witnessís testimony and the statements he had made before the Co-Investigating Judges were raised. 

Mr. Uch Sorn Mr. Uch Sorn

Uch Sorn, 72, was called as a witness to testify about M-13, a security office located in an area under Khmer Rouge control, which had been supervised by Kaing Guek Eav. in 1973, Mr. Sorn was accused of being a spy and detained at M-13 for one year, where he was forced to perform maintenance work including sweeping, gathering wood, and digging graves. In October or November 1974, he was liberated and sent to Pursat province, but only returned to his home village in 1979. As a witness, Uch Sorn testified on the detention conditions at M-13. He told the Trial Chamber that emotional and physical torture was inflicted upon the prisoners, including torture and starvation. Uch told the Trial Chamber that the other detainees were ordinary people from his village and not high-ranking military officials and that guards were very young, between 15 and 20 years old.

Mr. Francois Bizot Mr. Francois Bizot

Francois Bizot, 69, professor of the French School for Oriental Studies, was called as a witness to testify about M-13. While conducting research on Cambodian Buddhism in Oudong in October 1971, Mr. Bizot and his two Cambodian colleagues, Kom Hok Ly and Kong Son, were arrested by Khmer Rouge soldiers and transferred to M-13. There he was detained in a bamboo storage place apart from the approximately fifty other detainees - primarily peasants from Khmer Rouge controlled zones - who were shackled in three huts. Francois was accused of being a CIA agent and was interrogated daily by the Accused himself. He was liberated on 25 December 1971, but his two colleagues remained at M-13 and were later executed. As a witness, FranÁois Bizot described the detention conditions at M-13. He recounted how the Accused admitted to beating detainees because it was expected of him, although he did not enjoy it. He told the Trial Chamber that the Accused had the reputation of being hardworking and dedicated. According to him, the Accused's job mainly consisted of drafting reports on the prisoners sent to him for execution. 

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