Khmer Rouge's Duch Apologizes for 'Brutal' Deaths
Owns up to 'torture and execution' in trial
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 31, 2009 12:03 PM CDT
Former Khmer Rouge prison commander Duch reads a statement during a trial in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, today.   (AP Photo/APTN)
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(Newser) – On trial for his role in Cambodia’s murderous Khmer Rouge regime, the man known as Duch made his first public apology today for overseeing the deaths of thousands at the prison he ran, the Financial Times reports. “I am responsible for the crimes committed at S-21, especially the torture and execution of the people there,” Kaing Khev Iev said. “May I be permitted to apologize.”

“I would like you to forgive me,” Duch said. He is the first key member of the regime to stand trial as Cambodian courts seek to take Khmer Rouge to task. But the plan faces opposition from the prime minister, who worked under the regime and warns of a “war” if the trials continue. But an Asia human rights advocate says such concerns are silly. “It is not a serious argument. The Khmer Rouge are dead.”