In an expected move, the Pre-Trial Chamber ruled Friday that DK Foreign Minister Ieng Sary cannot be released from the ECCC detention center. His lawyers had requested that the elderly defendant be released to a hospital and, once his health had stabilized, be kept under house arrest.
The court used the same logic it has employed in denying similar requests from other defendants: that release from pre-trial detention would jeopardize the defendants' safety, possibly intimidate witnesses and potentially lead to civil unrest.
However, the court shelved a decision on whether Sary's 1979 conviction in absentia for Genocide would prevent his prosecution before the ECCC. Arguments regarding the issue were hashed out during Sary's hearing in late June, early July.
At this point in the court's investigation, it's unclear whether the scope of charges against Sary will conflict with those for which he was already tried and convicted in 1979, according to Judge Prak Kimsan.
The "point may crystallize upon the indictment of the charged person," the judge read while issuing the Pre-Trial Chamber's decision Friday.
So ultimately, a decision regarding potentially redundant prosecutions will not be made until Sary's indictment is completed.
* Pictured: One of Ieng Sary's lawyers speaks with reporters after his client's appeal was denied Friday.
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