Ex-Khmer Rouge prisoner tells genocide trial of execution fears

A French scholar imprisoned in 1971 by a Khmer Rouge official now facing a genocide court said today he heard the "triggers of the guns" but the shot he expected would execute him was not fired.

François Bizot testified before Cambodia's UN-backed tribunal for a second day in the trial of Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch‚ the chief jailer for the Khmer Rouge during its 1975-79 regime.

"The shot didn't happen. I was still blindfolded," said Bizot, who said he did not know whether the Khmer Rouge failed in the attempt to kill him or if it was a mock execution staged to frighten him.

Duch commanded Phnom Penh's S-21 prison, also known as Tuol Sleng, where as many as 16,000 men, women and children are believed to have been tortured before being executed.

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