Accessibility links

Breaking News

Khieu Samphan Sent To Hospital, as Tribunal Hearings Resume

In this photo released by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Khieu Samphan, former Khmer Rouge head of state, gestures as he sits in the court room U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh, file photo.

Khmer Rouge defendant Khieu Samphan was sent to the hospital Thursday, causing a renewed hearing at the UN-backed tribunal to end early.

Khieu Samphan, 83, the former nominal head of the regime, suffered high blood pressure and dizziness as the hearing got under way and was sent away by midday, ending the hearings for the day.

Nuon Chea, 88, the second defendant and the regime’s chief ideologue, was also not present at court, due to poor health, and instead watched proceedings via a video link from his detention chambers.

The tribunal has struggled to get this second and final phase of the trial under way.

Defense teams boycotted proceedings late last year, claiming they needed more time to prepare Khieu Samphan’s appeal to the first phase of the trial—which sentenced both aging men to life in prison for their leadership roles within the regime.

Hearings Thursday included testimony from a witness at the Kraing Tachann security center, where an estimated 15,000 died.