2011年4月8日金曜日

Appeal for killer of Hamill's brother 'a circus'

WAIKATO TIMES
Rob Hamill says that an appeal hearing for a Khmer Rouge leader was farcical.
A recently completed appeal hearing for a Khmer Rouge leader was farcical, Rob Hamill says.
Mr Hamill's brother Kerry was one of those tortured and executed at the notorious S-21 prison in Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital in 1978.
Mr Hamill has just returned from Cambodia where he attended an appeal hearing for
Kaing Guek Eav, 67, more commonly known as Duch, who received a  35-year sentence last year after pleading guilty to crimes against humanity, war crimes, premeditated murder and torture.
Mr Hamill hoped to meet with his brother's killer face-to-face at the appeal which began on March 28.
Speaking from his Te Pahu home yesterday, Mr Hamill said although he was confident his request for a meeting got through to Duch, he had heard Duch would have declined.
He was relaxed about that stance, but was concerned about rumours Duch was penning a book.
''There's speculation that a book is pending from him, but that's total, complete speculation ... the possibility of him gaining financially from his crimes would be abhorrent. I think if he had any desire to do good he could make 100 per cent of the proceeds go to the victims in some form. It could be deemed as an historical narrative too. But it depends on his motives and agenda. You could question the political pressure that is being applied to him and that's unrealistic.''
As for the appeal hearing, Mr Hamill labelled it a ''circus'.
''The impression I got was almost a mocking of the defence counsel from the public's perspective. I feel there was a particular, almost mocking derision of the defence strategy and behaviour in the court. I likened it to a circus really, the way they behaved. They were hyper animated, they yelled in the court, just yelling in to the microphone at high pitches ... talking with some of the civil party lawyers that seemed to be a general consensus as well, that they were not helping themselves, that they didn't really have a strong case.''
The eight judges sitting in the Supreme Court were expected to deliver a decision in July.
Given the defence lawyer's sideshow, he suspected the appeal would be thrown out and Duch's sentence increased to 45 years, as pushed for by the prosecution.
''I think there's a big risk that Duch's sentence may be increased.''
As he qualified for 16 years' off, a 35 year sentence would only mean another 19 years behind bars.
 
''I think there should be just a call for a life sentence for the rest of your living days, but that's (45 years) probably the best we're gonna get.''
As for the emotional toll, Mr Hamill said sitting in the public gallery enabled him to be a step back from proceedings.
''I was more detached from it than what I have been previously. And that was a good thing, it allowed me to focus on the process and legal arguments more.''