DEFENCE lawyers for former Khmer Rouge Social Action Minister Ieng Thirith have said that she will not be able to make a statement or testify in the opening stage of the court’s second case, according to a document released by the court today.
“The defence is unable to take instructions from the Accused due to her mental state, and in particular her memory impairment,” co-lawyers Diana Ellis and Phat Pouv Seang said. “As a consequence of this incapacity the Accused cannot contribute in any meaningful way to the preparation of her case.”
With opening statements in Case 002 set to begin on November 21, a decision on Ieng Thirith’s fitness to stand trial is pending.
At a hearing last month, psychiatric experts testified that Ieng Thirith suffered from dementia, the most likely form of which was Alzheimer’s disease. Ieng Thirith’s lawyers requested at the hearing that the case against her be discontinued if she is declared unfit to stand trial.