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Jailed Khmer Rouge Five Allowed Contact

Five detained leaders of the Khmer Rouge have been granted the rights to interact with each other while in tribunal detention, canceling and earlier ban.

The five leaders had not been able to meet with each other since their respective arrests over the last half of 2007; judges concluded such collusion could jeopardize their investigations into charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Son Arun, lawyer for Nuon Chea, said the courts had lifted the ban.

Tribunal spokesman Peter Foster said the Pre-Trial Chamber of the tribunal courts had found no reason to continue separation of the five leaders, Nuon Chea, 82, Khieu Samphan, 76, Ieng Sary, 82, Ieng Thirith, 77, and Kaing Kek Iev, 65.

The lift of segregation comes as trials for the five former leaders continue remain delayed. The first trial will likely not be held until early 2009, for Tuol Sleng prison chief Kaing Kek Iev, better known by his revolutionary name, Duch.

Meanwhile, three Khmer Rouge leaders were taken to the hospital for check-ups this week: Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary.