Defence lawyers for former Khmer Rouge Social Action Minister Ieng Thirith have said she will be unable to make a statement or testify in opening stages of the war crimes trib-unal’s second case.
“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 in a document released by the court on Friday.
“As a consequence of this incapacity, the accused cannot contribute in any meaningful way to the preparation of her case.”
With opening statements in the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s Case 002 set to begin on November 21, determinations on the fitness of Ieng Thirith and former KR “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea to stand trial are among pending decisions from the Trial Chamber.
Diana Ellis told the Post via email the defence team had to “work on the basis that Ieng Thirith will be part of the trial”.
At a hearing last month, psychiatric experts testified that Ieng Thirith suffered from dementia, most likely Alz- heimer’s disease.
Ieng Thirith’s lawyers requested at the hearing that the case against her be discontinued if she was declared unfit to stand trial.