ECCC Reparations

This blog is designed to serve as a repository of analyses, news reports and press releases related to the issue of RERAPATIONS within the framework of the Extraordinary Chambers in Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), a.k.a. the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Former Khmer Rouge foreign minister, detained for trial, taken to hospital

The International Herald Tribune
The Associated Press
Published: February 4, 2008

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia: One of the five former Khmer Rouge leaders being held for trial by Cambodia's U.N.-backed genocide tribunal was rushed to a hospital Monday, just hours after one of his co-defendants made his first courtroom appearance.
Ieng Sary, the former Khmer Rouge foreign minister, was hospitalized for a urinary tract problem, his lawyer said.
The lawyer, Ang Udom, said 78-year-old Ieng Sary was rushed to Calmette Hospital — widely considered Cambodia's best medical facility — after feeling pain in his urinary tract and urinating blood.
Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath confirmed that Ieng Sary, who has a history of heart trouble, was being treated in a hospital. He declined to give details, but said it was the second time in the past 10 days that Ieng Sary has been taken to a hospital.
Many victims of the Khmer Rouge have long feared that some of the defendants, now aging and infirm, could die before they could be tried. The 1975-1979 communist Khmer Rouge regime is widely considered responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million people though execution, starvation, overwork and starvation.
"We try our best to take care of all the defendants without thinking about the that they remain healthy to confront the law," Reach Sambath said.
None of Ieng Sary's immediate family could be reached for comment.
Earlier Monday, another former Khmer Rouge leader demanded "international standards" of justice in his first appearance before the tribunal, but the hearing on his appeal for bail was adjourned after his lawyer asked for a delay.
Nuon Chea, the Khmer Rouge's former ideological leader, has been detained since Sept. 19 on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The tribunal earlier said detention was necessary to prevent him from pressuring witnesses, destroying evidence or escaping. The judges said Nuon Chea's own safety could also be at risk if he was released.
His Cambodian lawyer, Son Arun, asked the court to postpone the hearing so a foreign lawyer could join him in appealing for his client to be released from pre-trial detention, claiming the tribunal's investigating judges did not have sufficient grounds to detain him.
Dressed in a long-sleeved, checkered gray shirt, the 81-year-old Nuon Chea stood up to address the judges in a firm voice. He demanded "international standard" treatment of his case, saying it would be unfair to him if the proceedings went ahead without the full participation of both his Cambodian and foreign lawyers.
Prak Kimsan, head of the five-judge panel, gave the defense until Wednesday to explain how much time they needed and adjourned the hearing, ordering security personnel to take the defendant back to his cell.
Nuon Chea's Dutch lawyer, Michiel Pestman, could not make it to Cambodia in time for the hearing. Pestman's countryman, Victor Koppe, is the reserve foreign lawyer.
Koppe attended the hearing but did not have the right to speak after Cambodia's bar association last week refused to swear him in because he had breached its rules by making a petition to the tribunal acting before taking his oath.
In December, the pretrial chamber judges ruled against a similar appeal for release by Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, who headed the Khmer Rouge's notorious S-21 prison and torture center.
The tribunal is expected to begin holding trials later this year.
Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith, who was minister for social affairs in the Khmer Rouge government, were arrested by the tribunal on Nov. 12. They are detained on charges of crimes against humanity, with Ieng Sary additionally being charged with war crimes.
The tribunal's fifth defendant is Khieu Samphan, the former Khmer Rouge head of state.
Copyright © 2008 the International Herald Tribune All rights reserved


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