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which I've noted before, is regular contact between husband and wife Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith. "It is true that approximately 30 years have passed between the alleged acts and the arrest of the Charges Persons, during which time they have had the opportunity to contact each other," the Co-Investigating Judges wrote in a decision released last week. "However, the potential for prejudicial collusion increases considerably once the persons in question are arrested and charged." At that point, the Co-Investigating Judges wrote, suspects have access to case files, which describe the nature of their individual responsibility and potential legal arguments against them. Interestingly, this issue of access to case files figured prominently in the appeal hearing of Ieng Thirith last week. Prosecutors repeatedly argued that access to her case file would make it easier for the former social affairs minister to identify and intimidate witnesses. " />

DK posse can't socialize

The Co-Investigating Judges issued their decision in response to a request that had been made by Nuon Chea's defense attorney, court spokesman Reach Sambath said.

They argued that separation of detainees did not constitute inhuman treatment unless it was so severe that it led to "complete sensory isolation coupled with total social isolation."

This is not the case at the ECCC. Defendants have regular contact with family members, lawyers, doctors - even non-family members can request visits, the judges wrote. They are also allowed access to books, magazines, TV and radio, and can make telephone calls as well as write letters.

Moreover, the potential violation of the right to a private or family life "can be considered proportionate to the imperative of maintaining the integrity of the judicial investigation," according to the judges.

Only in the case of the Iengs does visitation appear warranted, the judges said. Since March, they have been allowed weekly visits and, after an April 30 Pre-Trial Chamber decision, can see each other once a day. These meetings can include visits with other family members.



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