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Tribunal Rejects Bail for Former Rebel

Khmer Rouge tribunal judges on Monday rejected an appeal from former social affairs minister Ieng Thirith that she be released on bail as she awaits an atrocity crimes trial.

None of the five jailed leaders of the regime has been allowed out of detention since their arrests. Echoing similar findings with other defendants, judges said Monday Ieng Thirith would not be released to ensure she did not tamper with evidence or seek to intimidate witnesses against her.

“The request of the release on bail is inadmissible,” said Judge Prak Kim Sam, head of the Pre-Trial Chamber of the tribunal.

Ieng Thirith, 77, was arrested in November 2007 and is facing charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. She was not present at her hearing Monday. Lawyers said she “could not get out of bed” and had a headache.

Defense attorney Phat Pouv Seang told reporters at the tribunal the team was not satisfied with the decision, but would raise the issue again as trial approached.