Khmer Rouge prison chief sacks his French lawyer

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Former Khmer Rouge prison chief Duch has sacked his French lawyer only a few weeks before his verdict on war crimes and crimes against humanity charges, Cambodia's UN-backed court said Friday.

Duch, real name Kaing Guek Eav, unexpectedly asked the judge to acquit and release him on the final day of arguments in his trial, and cited "loss of confidence" in his request to withdraw Francois Roux as his defence lawyer.

Duch had previously said that he admitted responsibility for overseeing the murders of around 15,000 men, women and children at the notorious S-21 or Tuol Sleng prison and begged for forgiveness.

He will continue to be represented by his Cambodian co-lawyer, Kar Savuth.

© 2010 AFP

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