PHNOM PENH - The Khmer Rouge tribunal has appointed a medical expert to evaluate the health condition of jailed regime leader Ieng Sary, who has been hospitalized since Sept. 7.
Ieng Sary, 87, the former foreign minister of the regime, is on trial for atrocity crimes alongside two other Khmer Rouge leaders. His attorneys say he suffers from poor circulation that has made it impossible for him to attend hearings at the UN-backed court. They have asked he be remanded to house arrest.
In a court announcement, judge Nil Nonn said the medical expert, John Campbell, will provide a recommendation to the court after assessing Ieng Sary’s condition. That will include a recommendation on whether he should be put under house arrest rather than stay in detention.
Tribunal spokesman Neth Pheaktra said Campbell will coordinate with Cambodian doctors to assess Ieng Sary’s health status.
Ieng Sary’s wife, Ieng Thirith, the former social affairs minister, was released from tribunal custody last month, found mentally unfit to stand trial. That decision upset some victims of the regime, who fear the leaders currently charged with atrocity crimes will not see their cases fully prosecuted.
“The process is similar to Ieng Thirith’s case,” Ieng Sary defense attorney Ang Udom said.