U.S. Requests Pol Pot's Extradition

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Fearing political unrest in Cambodia, the United States has moved to extradite Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot to stand trial before an international tribunal even before receiving official confirmation of his capture. The United States has already asked Canada to request the extradition of Pol Pot under a Canadian law against genocide, The New York Times reported today, and has offered to provide a military escort to transport Pol Pot out of Cambodia. Under the plan, which Canada has yet to accept, the 69-year-old guerrilla leader would be held in Canada until a United Nations tribunal, similar to the one investigating Bosnian war crimes, could try him for international crimes against humanity. While Cambodia's coalition government has already petitioned the United Nations to try Pol Pot for the deaths of some 2 million Cambodians, the measure must first gain the approval of the Security Council. That could prove tricky since China, a strong supporter of the Khmer Rouge regime, could easily block the trial by wielding its veto power. Trickier still: confirming that Pol Pot has actually been captured by rebel Khmer Rouge soldiers. The latest sighting, reported by a top Cambodian military official this weekend at Khmer Rouge headquarters, is difficult to take any more seriously than the contradictory reports of the past two weeks.