Kaing Guek Eav. Photo: guardian.co.uk
Cambodia's genocide tribunal announced on May 24 that it will return its verdict against Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, on July 26.
In February 2009, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia accused the Khmer Rouge prison chief of crimes against humanity, war crimes, murder and torture, following 77 days of trial.
Lars Olsen, spokesman for the UN-backed tribunal, said the verdict will mark an important milestone for the Cambodian people who have been waiting for more than 30 years to see Khmer Rouge leaders being brought to justice.
Duch, 67, commanded the notorious Tuol Sleng, or S-21, prison where more than 15,000 people were tortured before being sent for execution in the late 1970s.
He is the first senior Khmer Rouge figure to face trial, and the only one to acknowledge responsibility for his actions.
The tribunal is seeking justice for an estimated 2 million people who died from execution, overwork, disease and malnutrition under the 1975-1979 Khmer Rouge regime whose top leader Pol Pot died in 1998.
Four other Khmer Rouge leaders are facing charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. They include the group's top ideologist, Nuon Chea; his wife, former Social Affairs Minister Ieng Thirith; former Foreign Minister Ieng Sary; and former head of state Khieu Samphan. Their trial is expected to begin early next year.
ECCC is also planning to bring five other key figures of Khmer Rouge to trial.