Conjugal Visits Allowed to Ieng Sary
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia allows Iengs conjugal visits
The Mekong Times
Monday, May 5, 2008
The only married couple currently detained by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) are to be allowed conjugal visits.
The court's Pre-Trial Chamber has accepted an appeal for visits from the lawyers of former Khmer Rouge (KR) Deputy Prime Minister Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith the KR Minister of Social Affairs. The request was initially rejected by the ECCC co-investigating judges.
Ang Udom, Ieng Sary's defense lawyer, said he was unsure how long they will be allowed to spend together. Ieng Thirith's defence lawyer Phat Pouv Se-ang said that the court's internal rules stipulate 45 minutes per visit.
"Normally, in terms of families, it is difficult to live apart and not near each other, unable to see, talk and call one another," said Ang Udom. "Being apart while [one's spouse is] alive has strong psychological impacts. And it is worse for old people. It seems immoral and inhuman that the elderly should be forced to live separately from his or her children, wife or husband."
"Ieng Thirith made an oral request [to co-investigating judges] on Mar 13 to meet her husband [Ieng Sary] twice a week, but on Mar 17, co-investigating judges authorized visits between Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith once a week," said Phat Pouv Seang.
Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith have been married for 57 years. The couple is separately detained at the ECCC under charges of crimes against humanity. Ieng Sary is also charged with war crimes.
Besides the request for conjugal visits, the couple is also appealing against their year-long provisional detention by the court. Ieng Thirith's appeal hearing will be held May 21 while the date for the hearing of Ieng Sary has yet to be set.
ECCC spokesman Reach Sambath and ECCC public affairs chief Helen Jarvis could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Extracted from The Mekong Times
Issue No. 60
Monday, May 5, 2008