Is Ieng Sary’s trial in Jeopardy?

Posted by khmernews on March 4, 2008

Neth Peheaktra

As of last night, former Khmer Rouge (KR) “Brother Number 3” Ieng Sary was still in Calmette Hospital where he has been under observation for almost two weeks, increasing concerns over whether he will ever be fit to face trial.
“If Ieng Sary’s condition does not improve it will affect the running of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal (KRT) as he won’t be able to attend his hearing,” said Ieng Sary’s co-defense lawyer Ang Udom. “How will the KRT be able to sentence him?”

One of five former senior leaders of the KR regime who are currently in custody at the KRT, 82-year-old Ieng Sary has been charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes. In hospital since Feb 20, he is suffering from arthritis and heart and kidney disease. Of the five KR leaders now in custody, Ieng Sary has most often been in hospital.

“The KRT is paying close attention to Ieng Sary’s heath,” said KRT Co-investigating Judge You Bun Leng. ” we have managed to find foreign medical experts to carry out more tests to get more detailed information. If the doctors detect disease … and assess there is appropriate equipment [in Phnom Penh] to treat him he will stay here [to be treated].”

Youk Chhag, director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia said Ieng Sary’s health is worrisome.

“[However] this is not the KR era, when health services were limited, and modern science will be able to monitor and treat him, ” he said.

“Ieng Sary’s condition is not life threatening,” said KRT spokesperson Reach Sambath. He said that in the near future Ieng Sary would be discharged and his condition would not affect the KRT process.

-Extracted from The Mekong Times, #20, Tuesday, March 04, 2008.


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