Are the Defendants Slipping Away?
KRouge leader Ieng Sary hospitalised indefinitely: officials
Monday, February 25, 2008
PHNOM PENH (AFP) — Detained Khmer Rouge leader Ieng Sary, one of five top regime cadres expected to face a UN-backed trial over Cambodia's 1970s genocide, has been hospitalised indefinitely, officials said Monday.
The 82-year-old former foreign minister for the regime was taken last week to hospital where doctors "rechecked his health" after a series of scares earlier this year, said tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath.
He will remain hospitalised for "a period of time in order that the doctors can monitor his health," Reach Sambath told AFP.
"The illness is not threatening his life," he added.
Ieng Sary's lawyer Ang Udom confirmed that he had been in hospital.
"I don't know what illness he is suffering from this time," he said, adding that it was not clear when Ieng Sary would be discharged and sent back to detention.
Ieng Sary was hospitalised in late January for treatment of a chronic heart condition. He was in hospital again earlier this month, spending a week under treatment after he began urinating blood.
Ieng Sary has suffered from deteriorating health since his arrest last November, according to his lawyer, highlighting the fragile condition of the tribunal's likely defendants who are mostly in their 70s and 80s.
Their condition has increasingly raised fears that some will not live long enough to be brought to trial for crimes committed during the 1975-79 regime.
Up to two million people died of starvation and overwork, or were executed by the Khmer Rouge, which dismantled modern Cambodian society in its effort to forge a radical agrarian utopia during its ultra-communist rule.
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