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Lawyer Requests Contact Between Detainees

The Cambodian defense lawyer for jailed Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea has requested the tribunal to review a policy that says five detainees cannot be in contact with each other.

In order to maintain the health of the detainees and a successful trial process, the five former leaders should be allowed to communicate with one another, defense attorney Son Arun said Wednesday.

Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath confirmed receipt of the request and said judges will follow court procedures in considering it.

So far, former foreign affairs minister Ieng Sary and his wife, Ieng Thirith, have been allowed to talk to each other in detention.

Son Arun said his request follows international human rights standards and the Cambodian constitution.

The five detainees were in armed political struggle for decades, he said, "so they are like brother and sister."