Thursday, 02 October 2014

Cambodia

Detained French Architect ‘Voluntarily’ Leaves for China, Officials Say

A general view of the home of French architect Patrick Henri Devillers is pictured in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 21, 2012. A general view of the home of French architect Patrick Henri Devillers is pictured in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 21, 2012.
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A general view of the home of French architect Patrick Henri Devillers is pictured in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 21, 2012.
A general view of the home of French architect Patrick Henri Devillers is pictured in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 21, 2012.
Kong SothanarithVOA Khmer
Patrick Devillers, the Frenchman who has been detained for nearly a month in connection to a murder investigation in China, “voluntarily” left for China on Tuesday night, officials said.

“Cambodia has released Mr. Patrick Devillers following the request from China,” Koy Kuong, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told VOA Khmer Wednesday. “So we have already released him. According to what I am aware of he has traveled to China voluntarily. No one forced him, and there was consent from France, especially through its embassy in Phnom Penh.”

Devillers, 52, has political and personal connection to Gu Kailai, who is being held in China for the murder of a British national and is the husband of ousted communist politician Bo Xilai. The high-profile case has fueled a major political crisis in China. He was arrested June 13, but was never charged with a crime in Cambodia.

“The Cambodian government is no longer involved with Mr. Devillers,” said Khieu Sopheak, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior. “The government is not involved in where Mr. Devillers is going. We have decided to release him and given back his passport.”

In Paris, Alexis Berthier, the assistant spokesperson for the French ministry of foreign affairs, told VOA that Devillers chose to go to China after consulting with lawyers and Chinese authorities, though French diplomats were not present for the meeting.
 
“He made his decision about going back to China after discussions with the Chinese authorities,” Berthier said. “He informed us that he received some guarantees about what would be going on once he gets to China. So after this what we can do as the French diplomatic corps is that we can guarantee that he gets full consular protection while he is there.”
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Cambodia Foreign Minister UN Speech Touches More on World Issues, Less on Cambodiai
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29 September 2014
Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong's speech to the UN’s General Assembly on Monday in New York touches more on world issues and less on Cambodia. Before delivering his speech at UNGA, Hor Namhong told VOA Khmer that Cambodia was now enjoying peace and political stability after the two winning political parties in 2013 election had agreed to work together. His speech comes as Cambodia’s profile on the world stage has expanded in recent years. Cambodia has and improved economy and a growing participation in UN missions around the world. But Hor Namhong’s speech also comes amid deep criticism of Cambodia’s human rights record and a controversial agreement with Australia to help it resettle refuges in exchange for aid money. (VOA Khmer's Pin Sisovann, Washington)

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