PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, March 31 (UPI) -- The prosecution in the case against a Khmer Rouge prison chief called for a life-in-prison sentence for atrocities committed in the 1970s.
The Extraordinary Chamber in the Courts of Cambodia is charged with trying surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime for alleged crimes against humanity committed during the 1970s.
Kaing Guek Eav, commonly known as Comrade Duch, was director of the notorious Tuol Sleng prison, or S-21, in Phnom Penh. He was convicted in July of crimes against humanity committed during the Khmer Rouge reign.
Andrew Cayley, one of the prosecutors at the tribunal, said a life-in-prison term was appropriate for Duch given the severity of the regime's actions in Cambodia.
"We call for the imposition of a life term, reduced to 45 years simply to take account of that period of illegal detention," he said in a statement to the tribunal. "But for the purposes of history, a life term must be imposed in this case."
Duch is challenging his sentence. He claims he wasn't a senior leader in the Khmer Rouge regime and faced death if he didn't carry out their wishes.
"I survived the regime, only because I respectfully and strictly followed the orders," he said.