Lawyers pleased with public hearing, plan to ask for release.
FORMER Khmer Rouge leaders Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith will face the Khmer Rouge tribunal later this month to publicly appeal their continued detention, court documents released Monday said.
The husband-and-wife duo, who were the regime's foreign affairs minister and minister for social affairs, respectively, will argue their release on February 24 and 26.
Last month, co-prosecutors requested that the appeal be determined by written submissions only, as they argued the appeal "raises no new factual or legal arguments that need to be addressed in an oral hearing".
But judges have rejected the request, claiming that as it related to the "liberty of the charged person", it deserved to be heard publicly.
Ang Oudom, Ieng Sary's Cambodian co-lawyer, said he was pleased with the decision, as he would now be able to campaign for a change in his ailing client's detention.
"I would like my client Ieng Sary to be under house arrest or under protection in hospital because of his health problems. He is very old and has been attacked by three serious illnesses," he told the Post.
Ieng Sary was hospitalised last month for kidney-related illnesses and has spent the most time in hospital among all the five ex-regime leaders in detention at the hybrid court.
Can court find evidence?
Phat Pouv Seang, Ieng Thirith's Cambodian co-lawyer, also welcomed the decision.
"In the hearing, I will insist the Pre-Trial Chamber to think about the prolongation of my client's detention. She has been arrested and detained for one year already, so can the tribunal find the evidence to accuse Ieng Thirith or not? If not, the court must release my client," he said.
Both leaders have been in detention for more than a year.