Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ieng Thirith’s health not improving: son

Ieng Thirith’s health not improving: son

Ieng Thirith in a seat at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia in 2011 during a preliminary hearing on her fitness to stand trial
Ieng Thirith in a seat at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia in 2011 during a preliminary hearing on her fitness to stand trial. ECCC

Ieng Thirith’s health not improving: son

Despite travelling to Thailand this month to receive medical treatment for a host of ailments, former Khmer Rouge tribunal defendant Ieng Thirith’s condition is worsening, and she is likely to remain hospitalised there for some time, her son said yesterday.

According to Ieng Vuth, the deputy governor of Pailin province and Thirith’s son, the former Khmer Rouge minister of social affairs suffered a broken hip in a fall from her bed, a condition that isn’t healing, because pain caused by a heart condition prevents the 82-year-old from lying still.

“Her health has not improved; instead it is worsening.” Vuth said. “And we do not know how long she will stay in the hospital.”

Though Thirith remains under judicial supervision, she was released from detention and court proceedings against her were stayed in September 2012 after she was found unfit to stand trial due to advancing dementia. The dementia, Vuth said yesterday, makes it more difficult for doctors to treat her, and more difficult for Thirith to understand their instructions.

“Of course, we are really concerned about her condition,” he said, adding that the family was closely monitoring the situation.

A filing in which Thirith requested permission to travel to Thailand notes that in addition to conditions affecting both the spine and the artery that carries blood to the lower body, Thirith showed “evidence of cerebral atrophy” as well as two small strokes in a CT scan in January.

Thirith’s treatment in Thailand coincides with the court’s reassessment of the fitness to stand trial of its remaining defendants – 82-year-old ex-head of state Khieu Samphan and 87-year-old Brother No 2, Nuon Chea.

The two underwent a physical and psychological assessment on Tuesday, but an optional public hearing on the findings that had been tentatively scheduled for Friday wasn’t held because none of the legal teams requested it.

“The medical reports are confidential, however the two reports indicate that both accused are fit to stand trial,” said prosecutor William Smith in an email yesterday. “There is no information in the reports that presents any immediate concern as to their health in the foreseeable future.”

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STUART WHITE

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the