Pol Pot Takes The Rap

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BANGKOK, Thailand: Pol Pot, the infamous and reclusive Cambodian leader, has been tried and sentenced to life in prison at a mass rally in Anlong Veng, according to Nate Thayer, a reporter for the Far Eastern Economic Review who witnessed the show trial on Friday. ABC News will broadcast Thayer's videotape tonight on Nightline. Until Friday, the Cambodian leader who led the bloody revolution that killed 2 million of his countrymen in the late 1970s, had not been seen by anyone from outside his country in twenty years; persistent and conflicting rumors this year have said either that he was dead, or that one or another splinter group had him in custody. Turns out, according to Thayer, that Pol Pot's former Khmer Rouge comrades have held him prisoner since June, when a violent split in the group developed as it negotiated peace terms with Cambodia's government. On Saturday, his alleged captors said via their clandestine radio station that Pol Pot had been sentenced to life for his crimes against the Cambodian people and that the Khmer Rouge movement would be terminated. The broadcast seemed to be an attempt by surviving members of the Khmer Rouge to distance themselves from its violent past -- and perhaps to save their own hides by fingering their former boss.