The Moment

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Heng Sinith / AP

Duch's placid face appears on a TV screen at court on the day of his sentencing

After a decade's work, a U.N.-Cambodian court has found former Khmer Rouge torture chief Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch, guilty of crimes against humanity. From 1975 to 1979, some 1.7 million died as the Khmer Rouge pursued their macabre vision of a collectivist utopia. At Tuol Sleng prison, where more than 14,000 lost their lives, Duch's guards smashed babies' heads open and performed "autopsies" on living inmates. His punishment? Thirty-five years, reduced to 19 for time served. Khmer Rouge survivors wept with outrage at the sentence, which could see Duch end his life a free man if he makes it to 86. The four most senior living Khmer Rouge leaders go on trial next, but may not even live to be sentenced given their frailty. Like those who have lived through horrors elsewhere — in Rwanda and Bosnia as much as in Southeast Asia — Cambodians may never be happy with the punishments meted out to the monsters who still haunt their memories. But in their way, surviving and prospering are their own forms of vengeance.