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FBI 'Happy to Receive' Grenade Attack Evidence

The FBI conducted an investigation of a 1997 grenade attack in Phnom Penh and will not investigate further unless more evidence is brought forward, the Bureau's director said in Phnom Penh Thursday.

Director Robert Mueller, who officially opened the Bureau's Phnom Penh legal attache office Thursday, declined to talk about particular aspects of the investigation, into the grenade attack on a Sam Rainsy Party rally that left at least 16 dead and more than 140 injured, including one American.

"I would tell you that we did an investigation, and if there is any additional evidence or information that will be assisting that investigation, we'll be happy to receive it," said Mueller, who stopped in Cambodia for two days as part of a regional tour. The official opening of the office brought the number of FBI overseas legal attaches to more than 60, Mueller said.

The office, which effectively has been open a year, helps Cambodian authorities with counterterrorism and cross-border crimes. The FBI has been criticized by rights groups for its close cooperation with Cambodian police, who often perpetrate crimes and rights abuses.

National Police Chief Gen. Hok Lundy, who has had close talks with the FBI since the attache office opened, has been accused of a number of crimes, including suspected murder and human and drug trafficking.

Mueller said at the ceremony he was on a trip of "friendship building" and information exchange.

Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said there was nothing unusual about the visit, which followed Cambodia's request for greater US cooperation in law enforcement.

That cooperation has included training with the FBI as well as US agents at the seaport in Sihanoukville "to help us do most of the jobs," he said.