20 June, 2021

Butcher May Squeal

Pol Pot's 'arrest' by a Khmer Rouge faction ruffles many feathers

Butcher May Squeal

The hunt for the "butcher of Cambodia", Pol Pot, seems to have ended with his alleged capture by a Khmer Rouge faction on June 20. But even if the notorious Khmer Rouge leader is produced alive before an international court, he may walk free as Cambodians and the international community are unable to reach an agreement on what kind of trial it should be, and whether there ought to be any trial at all. They are pursuing their own political agendas, and some fear that if Pol Pot talks, he is certain to implicate top Cambodia government leaders in the genocide.

The sudden emergence of Pol Pot rattled foreign countries which supplied arms and money to the Khmer Rouge. Observers say these countries, chiefly China (but there could be several from the West too), want a trial in-camera, inside Cambodia, far from the media glare.

The story goes that Pol Pot was on the run following a recent split in his party. An attempt to escape was foiled by his captors, former loyal subordinates, who want to join the national mainstream and give up guerrilla life for good. Pol...

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