Past catches up with Khmer Rouge killer

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Khem Ngoun had swaggered into Phnom Penh's Municipal Court as if he were considering buying the place.

He stood slightly apart from the other four defendants and held a fuchsia-coloured hand towel to mop his brow.

Even his blue, prison-issue pyjamas were of a different design and a better fit than those his former Khmer Rouge colleagues were wearing.

His initial appearance at the court earlier this month suggested that Khem Ngoun still saw himself as a powerful man, one who deserved more respect than to be charged with kidnapping and murder.

But his 20-year sentence confirms that former Khmer Rouge leaders should no longer feel safe from prosecution.

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