Cambodia’s UN-backed genocide court has refused bail to the Khmer Rouge’s former social welfare minister.
For her part in the Maoist regime’s brutal four-year rule in the late 1970s, Ieng Thirith (photo), 76, is accused of crimes against humanity. Her husband was the regime’s foreign minister, and judges are still considering his bail appeal.
The court helds three other former Khmer Rouge, whose requests for bail have already been denied.
Ieng Thirith was one of the Khmer Rouge’s founding members and its most powerful woman, and her sister was married to Pol Pot, the movement’s leader.
According to prosecutors, though she knew that tens of thousands of people were dying from starvation and disease on brutal collective farms, she did nothing to stop the disaster.
Ieng Thirith denies any wrongdoing and in court, her lawyer argued that she required regular treatment for both mental and physical ailments.
But for Ieng Thirith, “detention remains a necessary measure”, ruled the judges.
The trials are expected to begin later in the year.