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After long break, Khmer Rouge court to resume

After more than a week’s hiatus, the Khmer Rouge tribunal is expected to reconvene tomorrow to hear testimony from a new witness in Case 002 against co-accused Khieu Samphan, Nuon Chea and Ieng Sary.

Hearings were delayed this week due to the health of Ieng Sary, 86, the former minister of Foreign Affairs who has been in and out of the hospital in recent months for the treatment of several ailments.

Sary’s defence team filed a motion with the court yesterday waiving his right to be present for the testimony of eight upcoming witnesses.

He was undergoing treatment when his wife, ex-Khmer Rouge minister Ieng Thirith, was freed over the weekend on mental health grounds.

Following the release, defence attorney Michael Karnavas said Sary was relieved to hear the news, adding that his client remains ill and that it is “highly unlikely” that his condition will improve.

“We certainly object to any efforts by the Trial Chamber to hear any other witnesses beyond these eight witnesses that Mr Ieng Sary is willing to waive his presence.”

While the focus has been on Ieng Thirith of late, the tribunal also posted a handful of declassified documents yesterday on its website, including the decision in 2009 to appoint a psychologist to examine the state of Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, who was sentenced to life in prison earlier this year in the tribunal’s landmark Case 001.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Freeman at joseph.freeman@phnompenhpost.com

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