Ahead of a bail hearing scheduled for later this month, lawyers for former Khmer Rouge Foreign Minister Ieng Sary on Tuesday asked the court to summon every single doctor to have treated him since his arrest 15 months ago.
Since the ailing 83-year-old’s arrest in November, 2007, the defense have repeatedly argued that his detention at the court is harming his already frail health and that he should be released.
“Since being detained Mr Ieng Sary has been transferred to Calmette Hospital eight times, which has led to him being admitted to hospital for a total of 46 days,” defense lawyers Ang Udom and Michael Karnavas wrote in Tuesday’s pleading.
“These examinations have led to the production of several lengthy and complex reports which have been translated into all three languages of the ECCC,” they added. “As such, examination of these experts is required to fully explain the complex medical terms set out in these reports and to clarify any ambiguities due to their translation into different languages.”
Ieng Sary suffers from heart disease, high blood pressure and lumbago and has undergone four heart operations, including a double-bypass, since 1994.
In upholding the first year of Ieng Sary’s detention, the court’s Pre-Trial Chamber in October said there was no evidence that he needed long-term hospitalization, and that the court was properly equipped to care for him.
That month, the chamber also refused to appoint experts to determine the psychological fitness of both Ieng Sary and Brother Number Two Nuon Chea, though this had not been opposed by prosecutors.
In a friend-of-the-court brief submitted for Ieng Sary’s first bail hearing held last year, Anne Heindel, a legal adviser to the Documentation Center of Cambodia, said other modern tribunals have in rare cases granted pretrial release on medical grounds but only when detainees were found to suffer terminal, incurable illnesses.
The Pre-Trial Chamber is to hear Ieng Sary’s appeal against his second year of detention on Feb 26.