Racing against time in Cambodia

19 November 2007 by Thierry Cruvellier

Less than four months after the prosecutors in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) submitted five names to the investigating judges, four of the suspects are behind bars and the fifth under surveillance at the hospital. Ieng Sary, 82, former minister of foreign affairs under Pol Pot, and his wife Ieng Thirith, 75, former minister of social action, were arrested in Phnom Penh on November 12.

Two days later, on the day his new book was published, Khieu Samphan, 76, president of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, was transported by helicopter from his home in Pailin to the capital to receive treatment following a stroke. His indictment is believed to be imminent. Ieng Sary is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes, while Ieng Thirith is accused of crimes against humanity. None of the former Khmer Rouge leaders currently before the ECCC have yet been accused of genocide, a legally controversial charge in Cambodia.

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