Dubbed the “First Lady” of the Khmer Rouge regime, Ieng Thirith has been released by Cambodia’s war crimes court, saying she is unfit to stand trial.
Thirith, now 80, is the ex-social affairs minister and sister-in-law of regime leader, Pol Pot. She is just one of a handful of people brought to court for the crimes during the Khmer Rouge era. The court statement says she is suffering from a degenerative illness, much like Alzheimer’s, and is unfit for trial.
She was accused of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. The court’s decision doesn’t mean the charges are withdrawn: she will be released on a finding of neither guilt nor innocence.
Other regime leaders, including her husband, are still on trial.