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Nuon Chea Fit To Stand Trial, Tribunal Finds

Nuon Chea, 85, has high blood pressure and problems with his eyes.
Jailed Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea can continue to participate in an atrocity crimes trial against him at the UN-backed tribunal, judges ruled Friday.

The 86-year-old, who suffers from high blood pressure and recently had bronchitis, was examined by experts at the court earlier this month, who found his health fit enough to participate in hearings.

The age and health of the only two leaders still on trial—Nuon Chea, a Khmer Rouge ideologue, and Khieu Samphan, former head of state—remain a concern, following the death of former Khmer Rouge co-founder Ieng Sary this month and the release of his wife, Ieng Thirith, due to mental health problems last year.

“Based on the conclusion of experts, the Trial Chamber upholds its previous decision, that accused Nuon Chea is physically and mentally fit to stand trial,” Nil Nonn, president of the Trial Chamber, said Friday.

Defense attorney Son Arun said last week that Nuon Chea suffered from a number of illnesses that should be treated before his trial continues.