KHMER ROUGE TRIAL / IENG THIRITH

Preview Language:   Original
14-Dec-2011 00:00:45
The UN-backed genocide tribunal in Cambodia ruled today that Ieng Thirith, a 79-year-old former senior member of the Khmer Rouge who was found unfit to stand trial, will not be released as ordered last month but remain in detention. FILE

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STORY: KHMER ROUGE TRIAL / IENG THIRITH
TRT::45
SOURCE: UNAKRT
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/ NATS

DATELINE: FILE

SHOTLIST:

29 AUGUST 2011, FITNESS HEARING – tribunal

1. Various shots, people entering the court building
2. Close up, former Social Actions Minister Ieng Thirith in court
3. Wide shot, judges arrival at the court
4. 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?”
5. 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.”
6. Wide shot, court

STORYLINE:

The United Nations-backed genocide tribunal in Cambodia ruled today that Ieng Thirith, a 79-year-old former senior member of the Khmer Rouge who was found unfit to stand trial, will not be released as ordered last month but remain in detention.
On 17 November, the trial chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) said it found that Ms. Thirith suffers from “a progressive, degenerative condition.” It ordered her unconditional release and that the proceedings against her be stayed.
However, the tribunal’s Supreme Court chamber today granted an appeal from the prosecution and set aside the release order, adding that the trial chamber must exhaust all available measures potentially capable of helping the accused to become fit to stand trial.
In a situation where the stay of proceedings may be lifted, the Supreme Court chamber found that unconditional release of an accused is not required. It concluded that the original ground for keeping the accused in provisional detention, namely to ensure her presence during the proceedings, remains valid and relevant.
Four expert psychiatrists who examined Ms. Thirith in September diagnosed her with clinical dementia, most likely Alzheimer’s, which would hinder her participation in court hearings.
The Supreme Court chamber today directed the trial chamber to request additional treatment for the accused “which may help improve her mental health to such extent that she becomes fit to stand trial.” Such treatment is to be carried out in a hospital or other appropriate facility in Cambodia.
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U111214d