Ieng Sary Still at Calmette; Condition Stable

Former Khmer Rouge Foreign Minister Ieng Sary was in stable condition Wednesday after three days of hospitalization, officials said, however it was unclear when he would be well enough to return to the Khmer Rouge tribunal.

Sources said Monday that the 82-year-old’s symptoms included chest pains, a cough and blood in his urine, but officials declined to give further details Wednesday.

“He is in a stable condition,” tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath said. “What I can tell you is that I checked with the doctor and that he is okay.”

Speaking on condition of anon­ymity, a doctor at Calmette Hospital said Ieng Sary was being treated by a team of doctors including hospital Director and Health Ministry Secretary of State Heng Taykry.

In motion papers filed last month, Ieng Sary’s defense lawyers argued that his frail health meant he should be released ahead of trial and that the court would be held accountable if failing to provide the best care resulted in the defendant’s demise.

Defense attorney Ang Udom said Wednesday that he had received no information about his client since seeing him at the hospital Monday.

“Everybody is worried. We are afraid of losing him,” he said.

Tribunal Co-Investigating Judge Marcel Lemonde said the court had to balance privacy against the need for transparency in releasing information on Ieng Sary’s condition.

“If there were something important to say, we would have said it,” he said.

“The principle is that there is still a right to privacy and that medical information is not systematically made public.”

(Additional reporting by Chhay Channyda.)

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