Ieng Sary, Nuon Chea Take Turn to Be Hospitalized Frequently

Posted by khmernews on March 14, 2008

Rithy-Koh Keo

Phnom Penh: The former Khmer Rouge leaders who are being detained at the Extraordinary Chambers are growing very old while their health is deteriorating. At similar age, Ieng Sary and Nuon Chea are taken to hospital almost every day due to their old age’s illnesses which are getting worse and worse. Can they live until the tribunal finishes? This is a frequently asked question.

While Ieng Sary was discharged from Calmette Hospital in the morning of March 6 after a week of medical treatment, Nuon Chea had been taken to hospital for health check on March 5.

A member of staff at Calmette Hospital told Kampuchea Thmey on the condition of anonymity that Ieng Sary’s health seemed to be very fragile, claiming that since early February Ieng Sary had been hospitalized most often among the five [detained former Khmer Rouge leaders.] “I am afraid that these key people to evidence of the Khmer Rouge regime might die before the trial happens.”

“Nuon Chea’s and Ieng Sary’s frequent visits to Calmette Hospital are like those to their home. However, their illnesses are typical for old people,” said the hospital worker.

The five senior [Khmer Rouge] leaders being detained at the Extraordinary Chambers are at similar age: Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, 65; Ieng Sary, 82; Nuon Chea, 82; Khieu Samphan, 77; and Ieng Thirith, Ieng Sary’s wife, 76. Among the five, Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, is the youngest.

Although they are presently detained, they have yet to be called “prisoners”. They are still “suspects” as “the judges have not accused them yet”.

Meanwhile, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia has announced to delay the submission of Ieng Sary’s brief until March 24. The delay is made due to his deteriorating health.

Reach Sambath, a tribunal’s spokesman, told Kampuchea Thmey that he could not comment on the reasons Ieng Sary requested for the delay in brief submission. He forwarded any questions about [the delay] to Ieng Sary’s lawyers.

Reach Sambath said that Ieng Sary had received medical treatment at Calmette Hospital for more than a week, and that now he had been returned to the tribunal at 10:30 a.m. on March 6.

Ang Udom, Ieng Sary’s lawyer, said that the reasons that the brief submission was delayed were (1) his client’s health problem and (2) lack of time to search for and collect documents.

When asked about Ieng Sary’s health condition, the lawyer dared not to comment anything but forwarded the question to doctors.

It should be noticed that Ieng Sary, alias Vann, was arrested on November 14, 2007 and has been provisionally detained so far at the Extraordinary Chambers.

Unofficial Translation
-Extracted from Kampuchea Thmey, vol. 07, #1586, Friday, March 07, 2008.


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