Justice argued

Rob Hamill — whose 28-year-old brother Kerry fell into the hands of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime when his yacht was captured in Cambodian waters in 1978 — was in Cambodia for the sentencing of the chief of the prison Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Comrade Duch. Sitting in the courtroom presided over by former New Zealand governor-general Dame Silvia Cartwright, Hamill, 46, watched Duch intently as the 35-year sentence was handed down but said the torturer’s face was “completely neutral”. “There’ll never be justice for our family,” Hamill said, noting his mother died seven years ago and did not get to witness the trial or hear its verdict. “I can’t quite reconcile how justice can ever be served with the nature and the way these people’s lives were taken.” Hamill said the verdict had to be put in perspective “He’s already served time in prison. The reality is now he [Comrade Duch] will have 19 years to serve. He’s 67 now so he’ll be 86 when he is released.” “The one real issue I have is there are a lot of people really unhappy here. A lot of the people in the court wanted life, no matter what. But the prosecution had asked for 4 years. I would have preferred it if they’d asked for 5, 6 or 7 years.” About a dozen Westerners were among the estimated 16, people held at S-21 before being killed. Hamill said he was still very keen to track down his brother’s remains.


Tags: Cambodia  Khmer Rouge  Los Angeles Times  Rob Hamill  Sylvia Cartwright  

New Zealanders Struggling to Find a Home

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