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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ieng Sary reported to have suffered heart trauma

Ieng Sary reported to have suffered heart trauma

Ieng Sary, the former Khmer Rouge Brother Number 3, suffered heart trauma on November 20 and was flown to Bangkok where he remained for just over a week, a physician in Pailin with close ties to the family has told the Post.

Sary, now 77, returned to his home in Phnom Penh on November 28, but he remained "seriously sick" and his family are gravely concerned for his life, the doctor said.

Peter Foster, spokesman for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) said he had no information on Sary's health or recent movements, adding that the ECCC had no comment on individuals, however notorious, who have not been charged.

Sary was sentenced to death in absentia by the 1979 People's Republic of Kampuchea Court but received a Royal Pardon in 1996 after defecting to the CPP with hundreds of Khmer Rouge fighters.

One of the key issues meant to be resolved by the ECCC's draft internal rules was whether pardons - such as that received by Sary - would be honored or whether such individuals could potentially face new charges.

On November 25 the ECCC announced that the plenary session had failed to approve the draft rules because of a failure to reach consensus on certain key points.

"There is no guarantee that he will even be charged," Foster said. "People have assumptions, but the investigators don't even tell us [the press office] which cases they are building."

Although Sary's prosecution is uncertain, his purported heart trauma highlights again the fragile health of many of the key figures potentially slated for prosecution.

In July 2006, Ta Mok, Southwest zone secretary under the Khmer Rouge regime, died in prison.

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