Kiwi rower heads to Cambodia to find justice

Kiwi rower heads to Cambodia to find justice (Source: ONE News)

ONE NewsRob Hamill

New Zealand transatlantic rower Rob Hamill is heading to Cambodia to address the trial of the Khmer Rouge death camp commander responsible for his brother's murder.

Rob's brother Kerry, was taken captive and killed in a notorious Cambodian prison in 1978.

Hamill will travel to confront the man known as "Comrade Duch" a Khmer Rouge commander who oversaw the deaths of thousands in Cambodia.

He says he doesn't yet know how he will feel seeing the man in the flesh.

"All I can say, is I suspect to see a vast range of emotions," he says.

"I've lined up at the World Champs and Olympics on the start line with incredible nerves...but nothing is going to compare to this, this is going to be quite scary actually."

In 1978, 27 year old Kerry Hamill was sailing from Singapore to Bangkok, when a storm blew his boat into Cambodian waters.

He was held for two months at the notorious S-21 prison, tortured and forced to confess to spying.

He was then murdered, but his family didn't find that out for more than a year.

"My second eldest brother John was affected the ultimate, he took his life about 7 or 8 months after we found out the news," says Rob.

It's that toll on his family, that Rob wants to get across at the trial.

"Sometimes I feel like writing the hatred that I've felt for him...the wondering of what it was like for Kerry...because that in some ways was the worst of all of this."

Rob will land in Cambodia 31 years to the day after Kerry's capture. It's a mission he hopes will bring justice for his brother.

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