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Published: Tuesday August 5, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday August 5, 2014 MYT 8:29:20 AM

Khmer Rouge 'first lady' discharged from hospital

PHNOM PENH: The former “first lady” of Cambodia’s murderous Khmer Rouge regime has been discharged from a Thai hospital after an improvement in her health, her lawyer said.

Ieng Thirith, 82, returned to Cambodia last week, days before the UN-backed court which freed her delivered its verdict on the two most senior surviving members of the Khmer Rouge.

The case against Thirith was suspended after the court ruled dementia left her unfit to stand trial, releasing her from detention in September 2012 after around five years.

The widow of Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary – and herself a social affairs minister under the regime – had been hospitalised in Thailand since March.

Heart, urinary and lung problems left her relying on a feeding tube and oxygen to survive, her son Ieng Vuth, deputy governor of Pailin province – a former Khmer Rouge stronghold – said in May.

But yesterday, her Cambodian lawyer said her health had slightly improved.

“She was discharged from the (Thai) hospital last week and is at her son’s home in Pailin province,” Phat Pouv Seang said.

The suspension of the case against Thirith, one of only a handful of people brought to court over atrocities during the Khmer Rouge era, was a bitter blow to many who survived the regime, blamed for the deaths of up to two million people. — AFP

Tags / Keywords: khmer rouge, first lady, hospital

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