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Nuon Chea to Get Regular Health Check-Ups

Nuon Chea was taken for a hospital checkup Friday, rekindling concern in Cambodia that the architects of the Khmer Rouge will not live to see trial.

Tribunal authorities took Nuon Chea to Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh, where he underwent six hours of examinations, tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath said.

Physicians concluded the former lieutenant of Pol Part and senior-most surviving member of the Khmer Rouge leadership was in good health, Reach Sambath said.

Nuon Chea's detention will mean regular health checkups for the former Khmer Rouge ideologue, he said.

The courts wish to ensure Nuon Chea's health, "so he has a chance to defend himself in front of the law in the future," Reach Sambath said.

Nuon Chea, 82, has claimed his health is failing. He told VOA Khmer in an interview in July his shoulders hurt and his feet were swollen. Family members say he suffers from hypertension, heart disease, arthritis and fatigue.

It is widely feared that former top leaders of the regime might die before they see a day in court. A trial for "Brother No. 2" likely won't start until early next year.