Pol Pot captured, but where is he?
Cambodian government urges
June 21, 1997
for 'killing fields' figure
Web posted at: 10:24 a.m. EDT (1424 GMT)
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (CNN) -- As the capture of hated Khmer
Rouge leader Pol Pot was confirmed Saturday, many of his
fellow Cambodians called for the execution of the man whose
"killing fields" rule in the 1970s led to the deaths of as
many as 2 million people.
The Cambodian government announced that Pol Pot had been
seized in a remote northern area by a faction of the Khmer
Rouge rebel group that turned against him earlier this month.
Efforts will be made to put him on trial before an
international court, the government said.
While Cambodia does not have the death penalty, some people
felt it should apply in Pol Pot's case. "I am so angry with
him, I would like to chop him up like he killed so many
people," said 40-year-old widow Chay Ky.
"In my opinion Pol Pot must be sentenced to death, but maybe
a death sentence would be too easy for him. But for sure he
should be kept in prison for the rest of his life," said
55-year-old security guard Teth Chhorn.
Government confirms Pol Pot's capture ...
First Prime Minister Norodom Ranariddh and Second Prime
Minister Hun Sen delivered news of the capture to reporters
at a press conference in the capital city of Phnom Penh.
It was the first time both Cambodian leaders, who are engaged
in a bitter political feud that has at times turned violent,
have told the same story about the former Khmer Rouge
Ranariddh said that Pol Pot had been captured near the Khmer
Rouge stronghold of Anlong Veng, and that Khieu Samphan -- a
senior figure in the guerrilla group, reportedly taken
hostage by Pol Pot as he fled -- was also in custody.
"This is the end of the Khmer Rouge," Hun Sen told
...but doesn't say where he is
The two premiers would not say how they had obtained
confirmation of the capture or even when it took place.
They also did not elaborate on the precise whereabouts of Pol
Pot and Khieu Samphan, nor when they might be brought to
Phnom Penh. There was no information about the fate of other
key Khmer Rouge leaders.
Pol Pot has not been seen in public since 1980, two years
after his overthrow at the hands of an invading Vietnamese
army. He was sentenced to death in absentia by a Phnom Penh
court soon afterward.
Ranariddh said Pol Pot should be sent to an international
tribunal to answer for the excesses of his 1975-79 "killing
fields" reign of terror when the radical guerrilla group's
name became synonymous with starvation, vicious torture and
Khmer Rouge radio, which is under the control of the
breakaway faction, announced on Friday in a broadcast from
its guerrilla zone that its army captured the 69-year-old Pol
Pot the previous day.
The breakaway Khmer Rouge faction which captured Pol Pot
would be integrated into government forces after formally
surrendering, the two premiers said.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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