The United Nations-backed tribunal in Cambodia set up to try Khmer Rouge leaders accused of mass killings and other horrific crimes during the late 1970s has issued its first charges against a member of the group.
Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, now faces charges of crimes against humanity over his role as chief at the S21 prison in the capital, Phnom Penh, during the rule of the Khmer Rouge.
Co-investigating judges at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) said in a statement released in Phnom Penh that Mr. Kaing has been placed in provisional detention following the issuing of charges.
Today Mr. Kaing was assigned a lawyer, Kar Savuth, from the ECCC's defence support section, after he told the tribunal that he could not pay for legal representation. Another lawyer, François Roux, may also be assigned once his application for registration with Cambodia's Bar Association is heard.
Under an agreement signed by the UN and Cambodia, the trial court and a Supreme Court within the Cambodian legal system will investigate those most responsible for crimes and serious violations of Cambodian and international law between 17 April 1975 and 6 January 1979.