Trial Chamber decision on reassessment of Ieng Thirith's fitness to stand trial

On 13 September 2012, the Trial Chamber issued its Decision on Reassessment of Accused IENG Thirith’s Fitness to Stand Trial. On the basis of the court-appointed medical experts’ report and testimony, the Trial Chamber has today reaffirmed its prior finding that the Accused IENG Thirith suffers from a progressive, degenerative illness (likely Alzheimer’s disease) and that she remains unfit to stand trial. The experts have confirmed that all treatment options have now been exhausted and that the Accused’s cognitive impairment is likely irreversible. As there is no prospect that the Accused can be tried in the foreseeable future, the Trial Chamber has confirmed the severance of the charges against the Accused IENG Thirith in Case 002 and indefinitely stayed proceedings against her. In these circumstances, and as the Co-Prosecutors and Defence have acknowledged, the Chamber is obliged to order the Accused’s release from detention.

As proceedings against IENG Thirith have been stayed indefinitely, the Trial Chamber lacks any legal basis to impose coercive conditions against her upon release. Coercive conditions would in any case be difficult to enforce, given the Accused’s mental capacity. Her medical condition ensures that she would be incapable of remembering or complying with conditions. However, the Trial Chamber agreed with the Co-Prosecutors that certain measures following IENG Thirith’s release remain appropriate. The Trial Chamber has therefore reminded the Accused of her obligation not to interfere with the administration of justice, such as by contacting witnesses, victims, or other Accused (except for her husband, IENG Sary). It has also requested her not to leave the territory of the Kingdom of Cambodia, to inform the ECCC Office of Administration of any change of address and that she refrain from communicating with the media in relation to proceedings before ECCC. As Alzheimer’s disease is currently incurable and no viable treatment options remain, no further medical assessments of the Accused have been ordered by the Trial Chamber. However, the Trial Chamber has agreed to consult with the court-appointed medical experts annually, to ascertain whether new medical treatments have since become available that in the experts’ opinion are likely to render the Accused fit to stand trial. As the possibility of a cure being found for Alzheimer’s disease is entirely speculative, this cannot form the basis of the Accused’s ongoing detention.

It should be emphasised that a finding of unfitness to stand trial is not a finding on the guilt or innocence of the Accused IENG Thirith, nor does it have the effect of withdrawing the charges against the Accused.

READ THE PRESS RELEASE IN PDF

Most read

The Victims Support Section (VSS) successfully conducted a forum on 24 June 2016 with the participation of Civil Parties, Civil Party Lead Co-Lawyers, Civil Party Lawyers, and representatives of the ECCC, the Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany,... The Defence Support Section (“DSS”) of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (“ECCC”) has assigned Mr. Wayne Jordash QC of the United Kingdom as the foreign Co-Lawyer to represent Ms. Im Chaem in Case 004/01. Mr. Jordash is a...
Implementing the pledge announced last year for a total support of EUR 8.9 million to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) for the period 2015 to 2016, the European Union (EU) has proceeded with the release of the final grant... On 27 July 2016, the Co-Investigating Judges issued a forwarding order under Internal Rule 66(4) requesting the Co-Prosecutors to file their final submission. Under Internal Rule 66(5), the Co- Prosecutors now have up to three months to file their...
The Court Report issue for July 2016 covers the month of June at the ECCC. The first three pages include articles featuring news from July, including the beginning of hearings about internal purges. In light of recent comments that appeared in the local press in Phnom Penh and that have been attributed to a certain expert who recently testified before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (“ECCC”), the Defence Support Section (“...

Learn more about

Related News

Stay connected

YoutubeFlickr

Instagram

Google+

Latest news