Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Jailed KR leader twice hospitalised this week

Jailed KR leader twice hospitalised this week

Jailed KR leader twice hospitalised this week

Another bout of kidney problems for Ieng Sary

AILING Khmer Rouge leader Ieng Sary was released Friday from his second visit to Calmette Hospital in a week and returned to the custody of the UN-backed war crimes court, according to his lawyer, raising concerns his health may fail before he stands trial.

"He was hospitalised because of blood in his urine, and his hands and foot were swollen," said Ieng Sary's co-lawyer, Ang Oudom. "He is a bit better after the treatment but far from cured."

He was released from Calmette this past Wednesday after two days of treatment, and then re-admitted Sunday.

The 83-year-old former Khmer Rouge foreign affairs minister has suffered from deteriorating health since his arrest in November 2007. He was hospalized last year for treatment of similar kidney-related problems as well as for a chronic heart condition.

Ang Oudom said his defense preparations have been severely hampered by the condition of his client.

"In one week, we can sit down with him only one time for an hour, so we don't have sufficient time to study the case with him," he said.   

He continually insists the pretrial detention of his client is hastening his health problems, and he should instead be allowed to recover by living with his children.

"At this rate, he will not be able to participate in the court [to] respond to the accusations."  

Court spokesman Reach Sambath confirmed Ieng Sary's hospitalisition for "blood in his urine" but declined to comment on its severity.

In October, Ieng Sary was told that he was fit enough to remain under arrest at the court's detention facilities, despite repeated protests by lawyers.

Ieng Sary has visited the hospital the most times out of the five leaders - all but one of whom are ailing and in their 70s and 80s - detained for crimes allegedly committed during their 1975 to 1979 rule.

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