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The jailer goes on trial

"The jailer goes on trial" Continued...

Issue: "Save the unions," Oct. 24, 2009

Not everyone is convinced of Duch's changed heart. After all, Cambodia does not have the death penalty and he has served 10 years of incarceration already, so accepting a severe punishment can't get much worse for the 66-year-old. And then there's the predominant religion.

"I don't think he really knows God," said war crimes archivist Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, in an interview with WORLD. "I think that is very hard for Cambodians because it is such a Buddhist country."

While dismissing his Christianity, Youk inadvertently attributed Duch's transformation to a spiritual need which Christ very well may have filled. "I think Duch was searching for internal healing," Youk said. "Everyone in the country was his enemy. God was the only one who would open His arms to him."

-Paul Chesser is special correspondent for The Heartland Institute

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