- - Tuesday, March 29, 2011

CAMBODIA

Stiffer penalty sought for Khmer Rouge torturer

PHNOM PENH | Prosecutors in Cambodia urged a U.N.-backed tribunal Tuesday to stiffen the sentence of the Khmer Rouge’s chief jailer to life in prison and to convict him of new, separate crimes against humanity.

The arguments came on the second day of appeal hearings for Kaing Guek Eav (also known as Duch), who was sentenced in July to 35 years in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity during the “killing fields” regime of the 1970s.

His sentence was reduced to a 19-year term due to time served and other technicalities, prompting an appeal from prosecutors and angry criticism from victims who called the penalty too lenient.

The 68-year-old Duch headed the Khmer Rouge’s notorious Tuol Sleng prison, known as S-21, where only a handful of prisoners survived. As many as 16,000 people were tortured under Duch’s command and later taken away to be killed.

CUBA

Carter: Not in Cuba for jailed contractor

HAVANA | Former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday that he has met Cuban officials and discussed the case of a U.S. government contractor who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for crimes against state security, but he said he is not in Cuba to bring the man home.

Mr. Carter said he talked with Cuban officials about Alan Gross, who was arrested in December 2009 while working on a democracy-building project, but added, “I am not here to take him out of the country.”

“We are here to visit the Cubans, the heads of government and private citizens. It is a great pleasure for us to return to Havana,” the former president said. “I hope we can contribute to better relations between the two countries.”

INDONESIA

Officials: Terror suspect captured in Pakistan

JAKARTA | A top Indonesian terror suspect wanted in the deadly 2002 Bali bombings was arrested in Pakistan, intelligence sources said Tuesday.

Umar Patek, a suspected member of the al Qaeda-linked militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, is thought to have served as the group’s deputy field commander in the nightclub bombings that left 202 people dead, many of them foreigners.

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