Cambodia will not extradite French citizen Patrick Devillers, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong told reporters late yesterday evening.
Speaking to journalists at Phnom Penh International Airport after returning from the G20 meeting in Mexico, the foreign minister said the government has decided to keep the friend and former business associate of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai in Cambodia as it continues its own investigation.
“The government has decided to keep the Frenchman in the country,” Hor Namhong said. “We decided not to send him to any country, whether France or China. We keep him in Cambodia.”
Asked why Devillers was detained in the first place, he added: "We don't know the reason, we are waiting for further investigation."
An architect, Devillers, who has lived in Cambodia for at least five years, was arrested on June 13 in Phnom Penh at the behest of the Chinese government.
Beijing requested that Phnom Penh extradite Devillers to China, but Cambodian officials have previously stated that the government was awaiting documentation explaining his alleged crimes.
A spokeswoman for the French embassy in Phnom Penh yesterday declined to give details on the status of Devillers, but the French government has reportedly requested that Cambodia provide an explanation for the arrest.
In addition to his relationship with Bo, Devillers was known to be close to Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, who has been implicated in the killing of a British businessman.
Devillers and Gu have been involved in more than one European-based business venture.
Additional reporting by Reuters.