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Ieng Sary Remains in Critical Condition, Lawyer Says

"Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea (4th L) and former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary (2nd R) sit at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, file photo.
PHNOM PENH - Former Khmer Rouge leader Ieng Sary remains in serious condition at a Phnom Penh hospital, breathing supplemental oxygen and under the close supervision of doctors, officials said Thursday.

The 87-year-old former foreign affairs minister, who is currently on trial for atrocity crimes at the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal, has been in the hospital since Monday.

“He is lying in bed and breathing with oxygen,” Ieng Sary’s lawyer, Ang Udom, told VOA Khmer. “He is attached to oxygen always.”

Ieng Sary’s words have become unintelligible, he said. “He cannot speak out. We cannot understand what he says.”

Ieng Sary’s illness heightens ongoing concerns that he and two other aging leaders—Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan—will not complete the atrocity crimes trial now under way at the tribunal.

The court is scheduled to hold a March 25 hearing to determine the fitness of Ieng Sary and Nuon Chea to stand trial.