Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mea Culpa

"In challenging the story of one witness who said he had been a prisoner at Tuol Sleng, Duch presented the curious defense that this could not be the person in question because, according to Duch’s records, he had already had him killed."

What is more-so a venue for national catharsis, the trial of Kaing Guek Eav aka Duch, the man in charge of Tuol Sleng Prison in Cambodia, continues in Phnom Penh with some interesting testimony.

It has become clear that despite the thorough documentation of the Khmer Rouge, many witnesses are unable to back up their testimony with proof. Further, the melange of law has been criticized, while failing to meet the standards of any particular legal system. However, despite the systemic chaos, I think that the primary aim of the trial is closure, to seek some form of pathos from Duch, and for the nation as whole to move on. As such, it seems almost secondary for testimony to be corroborated and for any international legal precedence to be set here.

Click here for a more detailed account of proceedings.