(Authors note: This was the release of the Story in the Far Eastern Economic Review the day before Pol Pot committed Suicide. He listened to the report on VOA Khmer language service at 8:00pm April 15, 1998. After ingesting poison, he was declared dead at 10:15PM that night. Khmer Rouge leaders contacted me 5 minutes later desperate for answers on how to handle the death of the last card in the deck they had to negotiate their survival (note time difference: 2:19pm EST is translated to 3:19am Cambodia time the following day)
Khmer Rouge Might Turn in Pol Pot
Tuesday, April 14, 1998; 2:19 p.m. EDT
HONG KONG (AP) -- Cambodia's Khmer Rouge officials have told a Hong
Kong-based magazine they want to hand their former leader Pol Pot over
to an international tribunal.
Meanwhile, Cambodia's army says it has trapped remaining Khmer Rouge
forces in the mountains near the Thai border, and is poised to finish
The Far Eastern Economic Review reported in its latest issue that the
Khmer Rouge rebels have asked Review correspondent Nate Thayer for
advice on how to deliver the notorious Pol Pot to the authorities.
Gen. Khem Nuon reportedly made the request Saturday during an interview
with Thayer at the Thai-Cambodian border.
Khmer Rouge forces have held Pol Pot, 73, under house arrest since June,
when they ousted him in a bloody internal power struggle.
Thayer interviewed Pol Pot last year after attending a communist-style
``People's Tribunal'' where the rebels denounced the former leader.
Gen. Nuon reportedly said the Khmer Rouge was unable to contact the
United Sates or other countries, and asked Thayer to put them in contact
with the ``right people.''
Thayer suggested they contact the International Committee of the Red
Cross, the report said.
Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge captured the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh
in 1975 and ruled Cambodia until 1979, presiding over the deaths of an
estimated 2 million people. A Vietnamese invasion in 1979 forced the
Khmer Rouge to retreat back to the jungle.
There have been calls for Pol Pot to be brought before the International
Court of Justice in the Hague to stand trial for war crimes and crimes
The rebels hope handing Pol Pot to the authorities will bring food,
medicine and other international support for the beleaguered Khmer
According to Cambodian military sources, the army is currently hammering
the Khmer Rouge guerillas near their former mountain stronghold along
the Thai border.
Reports indicate Khmer Rouge head Ta Mok and an undetermined number of
hard-line guerillas are holed up in the jungle peaks and attempting a
last desperate stand.
Most of the government forces are made up of Khmer Rouge defectors, who
oppose their former comrades' refusal to strike a peace deal with Phnom
Some 5,000 defectors are waiting out the fighting 25 miles south of the
battle zone. The government said they will send them and their families
home when it is safe.