The pre-trial chamber of the Khmer Rouge tribunal ruled
Wednesday it would not grant bail to Ieng Thirith, the former social affairs
minister of the regime.
Her release could jeopardize evidence and lead to the
threats of witnesses, Judge Prak Kimsan said in delivering the decision.
Ieng Thirith, 76, was arrested in November 2007 and charged
by the tribunal with crimes against humanity.
"The decision of the co-investigating judge to detain
the accused is valid," Prak Kimsan said. "The provisional detention
is still necessary."
Co-investigating judges decided to keep Ieng Thirith in
detention because they were worried that Ieng Thirith could intimidate victims or
make compromises with former co-conspirators.
She was being held also to protect evidence, victims and her
own security, and to guarantee she would be present during the trial, judges
As social affairs minister, Ieng Thirith held a position of
high responsibility and conducted regular political meetings with high-ranking
cadre, the five-judge panel ruled.
Phat Pouv Seang, co-defense for Ieng Thirith, told reporters
after the hearing the decision was "unfair" and her healthcare was not adequate.
"The pre-trial chamber based [its decision] on the
criminality of Ieng Thirith, but this kind of argument would be explained in
the trial stage," he said.
Prak Kimsan said Wednesday the decision could not be appealed.