Khmer Rouge confessions 'rarely true' admits Duch

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Confessions extracted under torture in the Khmer Rouge's brutal prisons were rarely true, the regime's prisons chief admitted today.

Kaing Guek Eav, or 'Duch' the director of the Khmer Rouge's most infamous prison S-21, told a Cambodia war crimes tribunal he took part in torture sessions and ordered his subordinates to beat prisoners who were to be 'smashed' to death with an iron bar.

Duch was renowned for reading every confession brought to him from the interrogation sessions, often correcting them in red pen. However, he said today, he rarely believed them.

"I never believed the confessions I received told the truth. At most, they were about 40 percent true," he told the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.

The 66-year-old former school-master is in the second week of a hearing at the UN-backed tribunal, charged with crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture and homicide.

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