CAMBODIA / KHMER ROUGE TRIBUNAL

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29-Aug-2011 00:01:54
The UN-assisted hybrid tribunal began its fitness hearing on the health of two aging Khmer Rouge leaders, Nuon Chea and Ieng Thirith. The two are among four allegedly most senior surviving leaders accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and other charges for their alleged roles in the Khmer Rouge regime. UNAKRT

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STORY: CAMBODIA / KHMER ROUGE TRIBUNAL
TRT: 1.54
SOURCE: UNAKRT
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/ NATS

DATELINE: 29 AUGUST 2011, PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

SHOTLIST:

1. Various shots, people entering the court building
2. Close up, former Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea Nuon Chea in court
3. Close up, former Social Actions Minister Ieng Thirith in court
4. Wide shot, judges arrival at the court
5. SOUNDBITE (English interpretation from Khmer) Nuon Chea, Former Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea:
“It is my health condition, it is deteriorating, but the most important thing is that I have problems concentrating and I wish to make this clear to the court as follows. I can remain seated for about one hour and a half only. After that to remain sitting for long will affect my eyesight and also my head will become very heavy and it also affect my heartbeats and my blood pressure increases and my back aches.”
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Diana Ellis, Ieng Thirith’s Defence Lawyer:
“In finding Ieng Thirith to be cognitively impaired, you consider it very likely that she is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Is that right?”
7. SOUNDBITE (English) John Campbell, Specialist Geriatrician:
“I think there are a number of factors that maybe contributing and I think that Alzheimer’s is certainly one of those.”
8. Wide shot, court

STORYLINE:

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), a UN-assisted hybrid tribunal, began its fitness hearing in Phnom Penh today (29 August) into the health of two of the aging defendant currently on trial, Nuon Chea and Ieng Thirith.

The two are among four allegedly most senior surviving Khmer Rouge leaders accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and other charges for their alleged roles in the Khmer Rouge regime. Under their alleged leadership, at least 1.7 million people are believed to have died for torture, starvation and execution.

Chea said before the chamber that Professor Campbell, a specialist geriatrician from New Zealand appointed to assess three of the four accused, failed to examine his ability to concentrate for a long period of time and requested a further assessment by another expert.

SOUNDBITE (English interpretation from Khmer) Nuon Chea, Former Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea:
“It is my health condition, it is deteriorating, but the most important thing is that I have problems concentrating and I wish to make this clear to the court as follows. I can remain seated for about one hour and a half only. After that to remain sitting for long will affect my eyesight and also my head will become very heavy and it also affect my heartbeats and my blood pressure increases and my back aches.”

Questioned by Thirith’s defence lawyer, Campbell said that the defendant may be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

SOUNDBITE (English) Diana Ellis, Ieng Thirith’s Defence Lawyer:
“In finding Ieng Thirith to be cognitively impaired, you consider it very likely that she is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Is that right?”

SOUNDBITE (English) John Campbell, Specialist Geriatrician:
“I think there are a number of factors that maybe contributing and I think that Alzheimer’s is certainly one of those.”

Monday’s hearing was the first day into a three day preliminary hearing to hear assessments conducted by Professor Campbell on whether the accused will be well enough to stand trial. The Trial Chamber held an initial hearing of the trial in late June and is expected to begin substantial hearing to examine evidence and witnesses by early next year.

The four accused are Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea Nuon Chea (84), former Deputy Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs Ieng Say (85) and his wife and former Social Actions Minister Ieng Thirith (79), earlier this year.

Campbell gave final reports of assessments to the Trial Chamber, recommending that Ieng Thirith require further assessment of mental fitness by psychiatrists. He made no recommendations for further assessment of either Ieng Sary or Nuon Chea in his reports.
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U110829c