Improvements made to the holding cell of co-accused Ieng Sary with the aim of making it more accommodating to the ailing ex-foreign minister “have nothing to do with... concerns” for his fair trial rights raised by the defence, Sary co-counsel Michael Karnavas said yesterday.
According to court documents, Sary’s holding cell has been outfitted with swivelling monitors and an adjustable bed in an attempt to make the defendant better able to follow trial proceedings remotely.
However, Karnavas said via email, such changes were immaterial to issues he had raised regarding not only his exclusion from a meeting on the monitoring of Sary’s condition, but regarding the very accuracy of examining physician Dr John Campbell’s assessment.
“The examination by Dr Campbell was nothing short of a white wash: a cursory/substandard check-up where he would give a general clean bill of health as related to Mr Ieng Sary’s ability to follow the proceedings,” Karnavas said.
Karnavas also noted the trial chamber’s failure to invite his team to a meeting in which it brushed aside calls for ongoing observation of Sary, saying such measures would interfere with “the perceived stated objective of the trial chamber to convict Mr Ieng Sary” while saying his rights were intact.
“This seems to be the goal; hence the severance, hence the need to have Mr Ieng Sary perceived to be fit, hence these stealth meetings,” he added.
Questions to the prosecution and trial chamber were not returned by press time.
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