Former Khmer Rouge foreign affairs minister Ieng Sary complained to the tribunal of solitude
in detention and a heart problem that takes him by surprise, while his co-lawyers pushed the courts to put him under
"My heart reacts irregularly," Ieng Sary told the
court at the end of three days of hearings over his pre-trial detention.
"I don't know how, in detention, I make my efforts and nobody stays
with [me]. Sometimes I ring, one time, they do not hear. And sometimes, two
times, and then I make my own effort [to alleviate] suffering."
Michael Karnavas, co-defense, told the court that if Ieng
Sary is to be tried, he must have good health so that he can be present in the
court room two years from now. He proposed house arrest, because the defendant
had been transferred to the hospital many times.
Co-prosecutors, however, rejected the proposition from the
defense, saying the release of Ieng Sary from tribunal detention could provoke
security problems for the defendant as victims could seek retribution and violence against him.
Ieng Sary out of detention would be a threat to witnesses,
as well, prosecutors argued, and a release on house arrest was not necessary, because
the tribunal ensured high-quality health conditions for detainees, healthier than
most healthcare systems in Cambodia.
The tribunal retains five doctors and four numbers to care
for the five jailed Khmer Rouge leaders and has a contract with Calmette hospital
for advanced care.
Lawyers representing civil parties participating in
the hearing supported the prosecutors. There have been no
serious threats to Ieng Sary's health clearly reported, so he should remain in
detention ahead of his trial, on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity,
civil party lawyers said.