Cambodia still has no evidence of Patrick Devillers’ alleged offences in China, but the French architect’s financial links with the wife of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai likely played a key role in China’s request for his arrest, a government official said yesterday.
Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said he personally believed Devillers was a money man for Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, during his time in China.
“So far, there is [still] no charge against Patrick Devillers, and in my point of view, based on my own research, Patrick Devillers was … holding the money for the wife of Mr Bo Xilai,” Khieu Kanharith told reporters at the Peace Palace for the arrival of Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito.
With no extradition on the horizon, as Devillers remains untried in Chinese court and China has “not provided any information yet”, Kanharith floated the idea that China may send a representative to aid in the investigation and suggested that the involvement of four nations – Cambodia, China, France and Great Britain – may necessitate Interpol’s involvement.
“I think China can send their own investigating judge to Cambodia for investigation,” he said. “I think China can request via Interpol police.”
An architect, Devillers, 52, was arrested in Phnom Penh on June 13 at the request of the Chinese government.
Gu Kailai has been named by China as a suspect in the murder last November of British businessman Neil Heywood. Both Heywood and Devillers were known to be close to her.
Devillers entered Bo’s inner circle while living in Dalian in the 1990s when Bo, who was mayor of the city at that time, helped him to chase up an unpaid debt.
A spokeswoman at the French Embassy said she has no further comment in relation to the Devillers case.
To contact the reporter on this story: Cheang Sokha at firstname.lastname@example.org