Former Khmer Rouge Foreign Minister Ieng Sary was taken to Calmette Hospital Monday for the second time in as many weeks, officials said.
Ieng Sary departed the Khmer Rouge tribunal shortly after 1 pm Monday, according to a tribunal spokesman; however, his exact condition remained unclear.
Ieng Sary was admitted to the hospital Jan 28 for examination by doctors due to unspecified heart problems.
Lawyers for the 82-year-old defendant have appealed his continued pretrial detention, claiming that his health is too frail, but no date has been set for a hearing.
Defense lawyer Ang Udom said that his client was brought to the hospital after passing urine that contained blood. Tribunal doctors had said the blood traces may have resulted from medications prescribed to treat Ieng Sary’s heart condition, he added.
“This is the main reason we want to release him from pretrial detention,” Ang Udom said.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a doctor at Calmette Hospital said Ieng Sary began to feel chest pains and to cough Sunday. It was unclear whether Ieng Sary would have to be admitted overnight Monday, he said Monday afternoon.
“We are afraid that his old problems might return,” the doctor said of Ieng Sary’s heart condition, which required surgery in Bangkok in 1998.
Peter Foster, the tribunal’s UN spokesman, said the court did not yet possess details about Ieng Sary’s health but that the court remained committed to ensuring that suspects remain healthy.
The court’s five elderly detainees will undoubtedly require continuing medical attention, he added.
“People of that age are going to require more attention than someone who’s 30 years old and in the prime of their health,” he said.