The importance of the right of the accused to be present in his trial was highlighted this week in the face of Ieng Sary’s deteriorating health. Ieng Sary was rushed to the hospital on Thursday, 17 May 2012, after experiencing severe coughing, difficulty in breathing, and dizziness. When trial resumed on Monday, 21 May 2012, the Accused was still in the hospital and the medical report submitted by his doctor was read in court. Ieng Sary’s international counsel, Mr. Michael Karnavas, asked for a suspension of the proceedings without opposition from any of the other Parties. The Trial Chamber granted the request and rescheduled the hearing to Wednesday, 23 May 2012, a day after Ieng Sary’s release from the hospital.
On Wednesday, Dr. Lim Sivutha, Ieng Sary’s attending physician, testified to provide the Chamber with information on Ieng Sary’s medical condition and his recommendations for the conduct of subsequent hearings. After deliberating during the break, the Trial Chamber adopted the medical doctor’s recommendation and suspended the proceedings until Monday, 28 May 2012. In order for proceedings to move forward despite Ieng Sary’s condition, it also amended the order of scheduled witness testimonies.
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KRT Trial Monitor Issue No. 23 – Hearing on Evidence Week 18 (21-23 May 2012) corresponds with Facing Justice Episode 21