Cambodian officials have announced that they will not extradite Patrick Devillers, the French associate of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai, but have indicated he will not be freed from detention any time soon.
Immigration Department deputy director Sok Vichea told the Post yesterday that despite the government’s decision, Devillers remained under lock and key at an Immigration Department facility, where he was being treated well and was meeting with French embassy officials.
“We put him in a separate room, and we give him 24-hour service,” he said. “We have 15 officers guarding him.”
Speaking to journalists at the Phnom Penh International Airport after returning from a Group of 20 summit in Mexico on Thursday night, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said Cambodia had decided to hold on to Devillers, who has been vaguely implicated in the scandal surrounding Bo and his wife, Gu Kailai.
“We decided not to send him to any country, whether France or China,” he said.
Namhong added that the reasons for Devillers’ arrest were still unknown.
Devillers, 52, was arrested in Phnom Penh on June 13 at the behest of China, which has informally requested Devillers’ extradition.
Cambodia has been waiting for China to provide a formal request and documents supporting their allegations.
Officials from the French embassy in Phnom Penh declined to comment yesterday.
To contact the reporter on this story: Cheang Sokha at firstname.lastname@example.org