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.

On 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 from 28 to 30 March 2011. The Supreme Court Chamber announced its decision on appeals on 3 February 2012. 

Granting the appeal by the Co-Prosecutors, it quashed the 35-year sentence handed down by the Trial Chamber on 6 July 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 by 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 Eav crimes as well as the aggravating circumstances in this case, and 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 the Trial Chambers' decision to compile and post all statements of apology and acknowledgement of responsibility made by Duch during the course of the ECCC proceedings on the ECCC website.

Following the decision of the Supreme Court Chamber on 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 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
  • regular trial
  • and unlawful confinement of a civilian

A total of 36,493 people attended the trial and appeal hearings in Case 001 during 80 days of hearings. Duch began serving his prison term in the ECCC detention center in 2012 and was transferred to Kandal Provincial Prison in June 2013 to serve the remainder of his term.

Indicted Person