Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Kong Sothanarith, VOA Khmer | Phnom Penh
“We could not refuse the upper echelon’s decisions.”
Convicted Khmer Rouge torture chief Duch told the UN-backed tribunal on Wednesday that only Pol Pot and his lieutenant, Nuon Chea, had power in administering the regime, as his testimony at the court continued Wednesday.
Duch has been testifying in the atrocity crimes case against Nuon Chea and two other leaders, Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary, helping prosecution explain the administrative aspect of the secretive regime.
Earlier this week, he called on all three men to admit their guilt and apologize to the victims of the Khmer Rouge, as he did in his own trial before ultimately receiving a life sentence for his role as chief of Tuol Sleng prison, where more than 12,000 people were tortured and sent to their execution.
Duch said Wednesday that Pol Pot and Nuon Chea “monopolized” decisions on “policy, commerce, the economy and the military.”
Nuon Chea has told the court he was in charge of education and had no power over the military. But Duch told the court he had first received orders from Son Sen, the regime’s former head of security, and then from Nuon Chea.
“We could not refuse the upper echelon’s decisions,” he told the court. This included orders for the arrests and killings of former police, public servants of the Lon Nol regime and, later, internal purges within the Khmer Rouge.