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Jailed Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan has been hospitalized since last week, tribunal and hospital officials said Tuesday, providing another reminder that aging leaders could evade justice at a UN-backed tribunal.

Khieu Samphan, now 79, was the nominal head of the regime.He has suffered strokes in the past, but officials said Tuesday he was hospitalized last week with a cough and lung problems.

The tribunal is currently moving toward a trial against Khieu Samphan and four other former regime members, for genocide and other atrocity crimes.

Lars Olsen, a spokesman for the court, said Khieu Samphan did not have serious health problems but was under hospital observation for a cold.

Tribunal observers worry that the aging leaders could die before they see trial.

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