Olympic rower Rob Hamill yesterday slammed a plea for freedom by the man he believes oversaw the murder of his brother more than 30 years ago.

Kaing Guek Eav, known as Comrade Duch, faces charges of crimes against humanity, war crimes, murder and torture while operating as a notorious prison chief during Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia.

Duch's six-month trial before five judges, including former Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright, ended this week with his lawyer calling for his client's acquittal as he had already spent 10 years in custody.

Hamill said it showed Duch had not faced up to the responsibility of what he had done - overseeing the most "brutal, cruel, and heartless murders".

Hamill's 27-year-old brother Kerry was captured in 1978 when his yacht strayed into Cambodian waters. He and Englishman John Dewhirst were taken to S-21, a Phnom Penh prison commanded by Duch where an estimated 17,000 people died.

In January 1980, the Hamill family learned Kerry had been tortured for two months before he signed a "confession" and was murdered.