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Page last updated at 09:27 GMT, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 10:27 UK

Khmer's 'monster behind the mask'

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Few people survived once they were sent to Pol Pot's notorious death camps in Cambodia during the 1970s. One of the exceptions is French ethnologist, Francois Bizot.

After being accused by the Khmer Rouge of being a CIA spy he was imprisoned for three months and condemned to death. In his new book Facing the Torturer, he reveals how the "ties of regular contact" meant that he formed a strange bond with the chief interrogator at the camp, a man called Comrade Duch, who later freed him.

Mr Bizot told the BBC's Mike Thomson that it was not until 1988 that he first "saw behind the mask worn by the monster" when he realised that Duch was personally responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people at the camp.

Bizot testified against Duch at his trial in 2009. He admitted that the most difficult part of the experience was "to be sorry for him as a human being and to hate him as a torturer."


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