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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ex-Khmer Rouge leader Ieng Sary still in hospital

Ex-Khmer Rouge leader Ieng Sary still in hospital

Former Khmer Rouge

leader Ieng Sary remained in Calmette
Hospital all week

undergoing check ups by a group of doctors after complaining of medical

problems in his cell at the Khmer Rouge tribunal jail February 4.

Reach Sambath,

spokesman of the ECCC, told the Post that

it was not yet clear when Sary would be able to go back to prison. At 82, Sary

is one of the oldest of the five Khmer Rouge leaders in jail, and is the one

whose health has given the court the most concern due to his previous heart

problems.

However Sambath said

Sary’s “health condition was not serious. The doctor told us that he has no

problem and the doctors have been following with check-ups.”

It is Sary’s second

admission to the hospital since he was arrested in November last year.

Sary’s defense

lawyer Ang Udom told the Post on February

6 that he did not know the current condition of Sary’s health, though he told

AFP that initially the defendant was urinating blood.

“The ECCC would not

let me know. It is not wrong because it is not my responsibility,” Udom said.

“But everyone is concerned that Sary will die before they can try him and we

need him to corroborate the defendants’ stories.”

Sary has been charged

with war crimes and crimes against humanity. His wife Ieng Thirith, the highest

ranking woman in the Khmer Rouge regime, was charged with crimes against

humanity. The couple has separate defense teams.

The two have long

denied any role in the “excesses” of the regime. On August 26, 1996, a small

group of journalists was invited to interview Sary after he broke away from Pol

Pot and his hard-line faction. When asked if amnesty was one of the conditions

for his joining the government, he responded, “I have made no mistakes for them

to excuse me.”

He pinned the blame

for massacres, killings, and executions – including the killing of

intellectuals, who he admitted he “gathered to come help build the country” –

on “a committee which considered all questions about security.”

The committee

comprised four people; Nuon Chea who appeared in court this month, and three

others. The others – all dead – were Pol Pot, Son Sen and Son Sen’s advisor,

Yun Yat.

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