>Cambodia: Ex-Khmer Rouge Foreign Minister Hospitalized Again

>Ieng Sary appearing in court in June 2008.

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA: Former Khmer Rouge Foreign Minister Ieng Sary, detained on charges of crimes against humanity, was hospitalized in Cambodia’s capital on Friday (1 Aug), officials said.

Ieng Sary, 82, is awaiting trial by a U.N.-assisted genocide tribunal. Peter Foster, a spokesman for the tribunal, said it was the third time since February that Ieng Sary has been hospitalized for blood in his urine.

The hospitalization was a standard precaution after doctors discovered the blood when they did a routine health check, he said.

Ieng Sary could remain in the hospital through the weekend, Foster said.

He said doctors have not provided any details about the illness.

Ieng Sary is one of five former Khmer Rouge leaders detained by the tribunal on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes. His wife, Ieng Thirith, who served as the Khmer Rouge social affairs minister, is among the defendants.

The tribunal is seeking justice for atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge during its 1975-79 rule. Several of the defendants are elderly and in poor health, and some victims fear they could die before facing trial. The trial of the first defendant, Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, who headed the group’s notorious S-21 prison and torture center, is scheduled to begin in late September.

The communist Khmer Rouge regime is widely considered responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million people through execution, overwork and starvation. (AP)

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