Relatives began gathering yesterday at the hospital bedside of former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary, whose condition has grown dire, his lawyers said yesterday.
“He is unconscious right now,” said defence counsel Ang Udom. “I don’t have any hope, and based on my observation, he has come to the last stage.”
Co-counsel Michael Karnavas said the 87-year-old crimes against humanity defendant had been receiving intensive medical care since Tuesday night.
“He’s in critical condition,” confirmed Karnavas.
On March 4, Ieng Sary was rushed to the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital for gastro-intestinal problems.
Two foreign and one local medical expert are scheduled to carry out a health assessment on Sunday for Ieng Sary and co-accused Nuon Chea, 86, who has recently suffered from bronchitis and exhaustion and has been hospitalised multiple times this year.
Only Khieu Samphan, the youngest of the three, at 81, has avoided serious health scares since the case against the top living leaders began in 2011. A fourth defendant, Ieng Sary’s wife, Ieng Thirith, was in September deemed unfit to stand trial due to worsening dementia.
Following the medical examination, the court’s Trial Chamber will hold fitness hearings on March 25, said Khmer Rouge tribunal spokesman Neth Pheaktra.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY ABBY SEIFF