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Cambodia Interpol says Australia has right to consider case

The Cambodian government will express surprise if any country gives the wanted former police commissioner Heng Pov political asylum.

Mr. Heng Pov is wanted by interpol and Cambodian authorities for some crimes , allege police officials.

Mr. Heng Pov was issued arrest warrant by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on serious crimes charges after being removed from the Ministry of Interior's under Secretary of State, and Prime Minister Hun Sen's adviser positions.

The alleged crimes involved judge Sok Sethamony's murder, intention of murder of some court officials, and journalists.

International news media quoted Mr. Heng Pov as saying he denied the charges. He is asking a political asylum from Australia.

First deputy director of Cambodia's Interpol office in Phnom Penh, Brigadier General Keo Vann Than, says that granting an asylum to Mr. Heng Pov is contrary to international law, because he is a criminal. He says that he does not know about Mr. Heng Pov seeking asylum in Australia.

Mr. Heng Pov does not say where he is now, but he told Australia's news media AAP Monday that he is innocent, and that he cannot go back to Cambodia.He says that he knows about many corruption and illegal cases, and that his family is now under house arrest.

The Cambodian authorities do not have any reaction to Mr. Heng Pov's allegations.

Australia's news media AAP quoted Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer's spokesman as saying Mr. Heng Pov's lawyer's request for asylum has been received, and is under consideration.

Mr. Heng Pov is still seeking political asylum in Australia, even when he was denied asylum by the Australian Embassy in Singapore last week, which asked him to contact U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) instead, quoted AAP from Mr. Heng Pov and his lawyer.

Brigadier General Keo Vann Than says that the 1951 U.N. treaty states that war and political refugees can receive political asylum, and that Mr. Heng Pov is a criminal, so the UNHCR might not be able to grant it.

Legal organization and human rights officials say that the important thing is not the fact that Interpol issues red alert for Heng Pov's arrest, but what Heng Pov has for evidences that show whether or not he is involved in political cases, so that the international community can accept his request.

Another important issue is that whether or not the Cambodian government itself has concrete and sound evidences showing Mr. Heng Pov a criminal for extradition.

Many high ranking police officials allege that Cambodia and Australia do not extradition agreement with each other.

Many police officials, and many countries among 185 countries which are members of Interpol appeal for the abolition of the extradition agreement, since it presents an obstacle for the extration of criminals living freely abroad.