Khmer Rouge War Criminal chief Duch stuns court with release bid

Former Khmer Rouge prison chief Duch has shocked the UN-backed war crimes tribunal by asking to be released on the final day of the trial.

Duch, whose real name is Kaing Guek Eav, had admitted being responsible for overseeing the deaths of 15,000 people.

Duch commanded a prison from where thousands were killed in an orchard now known as the "Killing Fields".

His request for clemency cast doubt over the sincerity of his requests for forgiveness from the victims' families.

Duch, a former maths teacher, said he had co-operated fully with the tribunal and had been detained since 1999.

"I would ask the chamber to release me. Thank you very much," he said at the end of his closing statement to the court.

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