Tuol Sleng chief Duch in ‘critical’ condition

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Kaing Guek Eav, the former Tuol Sleng prison chief better known as Duch, was transferred to the Khmer- Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh on Monday night for symptoms of fatigue related to his old age. Fresh News

Kaing Guek Eav, the former Tuol Sleng prison chief better known as Duch, was transferred to the Khmer- Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh on Monday night for symptoms of fatigue related to his old age.

Duch, 78, is currently serving a life sentence for the crimes he committed during the Khmer Rouge regime.

General Department of Prisons spokesman Nuth Savna told The Post on Tuesday that doctors at the Chey Chumneas Referral Hospital in Kandal province made the decision.

He is currently being treated but doctors decline to reveal details about his condition. He will be allowed to receive treatment at the hospital until he gets better.

“It is necessary to let him continue to get treatment because he is very old,” Savna said.

Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital director Ngy Meng declined to comment on Duch’s condition.

But Kandal Provincial Court spokesman Tin Sochetra told The Post on Tuesday that Duch’s condition is critical and doctors are treating him attentively.

“The information that we received is that he remains at hospital. His children said his condition is very serious. Doctors are giving him strong medicine. We will continue to observe his health,” Sochetra said.

Hailing from Peam Bang commune in Kampong Thom province’s Stoung district, Duch was placed in military detention by the Cambodian Military Court between 1999 and 2007 before being detained by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) on July 31, 2007.

Khmer Rouge tribunal spokesman Neth Pheaktra told The Post on Tuesday the ECCC received news about Duch’s condition.

Duch was punished by the ECCC’s Trial Chamber on July 26, 2010, for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed at Tuol Sleng prison. He was initially sentenced to 35 years in prison. To compensate for the 10 years he served in prison before the ECCC establishment and the six years served during the hearing, he would only have to serve 19 years. But prosecutors pushed for a longer sentence and the ECCC’s Supreme Court Chamber sentenced him to life in prison on February 3, 2012.

“On July 06, 2013, Duch was sent to Kandal provincial prison for his remaining prison sentence,” Pheaktra said.