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Hearing Scheduled To Assess Ieng Sary’s Ability To Stand Trial

  • Kong Sothanarith
  • VOA Khmer

Ieng Sary, center, former Khmer Rouge's foreign affair minister, sits in a court dock of the U.N.-backed genocide tribunal, during a hearing Friday, April 30, 2010, in Phnom Penh.

Ieng Sary, center, former Khmer Rouge's foreign affair minister, sits in a court dock of the U.N.-backed genocide tribunal, during a hearing Friday, April 30, 2010, in Phnom Penh.

Ieng Sary, 87, has been in the hospital since Sept. 7 and has been unable to participate in hearings since.

The Trial Chamber of the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal will hold a hearing Nov. 7 to determine whether Ieng Sary, the regime’s foreign minister, remains fit enough to stand trial.

Ieng Sary, 87, has been in the hospital since Sept. 7 and has been unable to participate in hearings since.

Two medical experts will his health and present their findings to the court. Ieng Sary’s wife, Ieng Thirith, former social affairs minister, was found mentally unfit to stand trial and was released to house arrest in September.

Khmer Rouge victims were disappointed with that decision. If Ieng Sary is found unfit for trial, the court will have only two leaders remaining on trial: Nuon Chea, the regime’s chief ideologue, and Khieu Samphan, its nominal head of state.

Meanwhile, the tribunal itself remains in dire financial straight, with observers saying donors have failed to give the court ample money to operate over the next two months. The court needs about $4 million to run through the end of the year, and another $36 million to operate through 2013, according to court observers.

In a report to the UN General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the international community should not jeopardize the court for lack of funds, which runs “counter to the message of ‘no impunity.’”
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