Former Khmer Rouge Foreign Minister Ieng Sary is again receiving treatment at Calmette Hospital since being admitted there last week, court officials revealed Monday.
The defense team for Ieng Sary has also filed a court motion seeking to have the ailing 82-year-old defendant stay at the hospital indefinitely, his Cambodian lawyer Ang Udom said. Ang Udom added that he had also asked the court to allow conjugal visits between Ieng Sary and his wife, fellow tribunal detainee Ieng Thirith.
Ang Udom said Ieng Sary misses his wife and should be allowed to see her while in detention.
“She wants to see him. He wants to see her. They want to see each other,” he said. “Why [does] the tribunal prevent them from seeing each other?”
Reach Sambath, spokesman for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, said that Ieng Sary had been admitted to Calmette on Feb 20 and that doctors were unsure when he might leave.
“They don’t give any details but they say it is not life-threatening, and they told us today he will be taken back to the ECCC when every check is clear,” Reach Sambath said.
ECCC Co-Investigating Judge You Bunleng said that he would consider doctor recommendations in deciding whether to allow Ieng Sary to remain at the hospital.
Long known to suffer heart problems, Ieng Sary was previously hospitalized Feb 4 for five days and also Jan 28.
In November, he told the tribunal’s co-investigating judges that he was afraid to die in pretrial detention.
Ieng Sary’s lawyers have argued that the court will be held accountable if it fails to prevent his death. The care and security of the ECCC’s five detainees is the Cambodian government’s responsibility.
Heng Hak, director-general of the Interior Ministry’s prisons department, said current Cambodian law requires prison authorities to inform prosecutors and perform an autopsy in the event of a death.
ECCC Public Affairs Chief Helen Jarvis said the court’s prosecutors and investigating judges are now reviewing rules, drafted by the court’s detention center and detention liaison unit, “including protocols to be followed in cases of illness or death.”
Published rules on detention at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia require a formal inquest under Dutch law in the event of a detainee’s death