Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bo Xilai accomplice Devillers back in Phnom Penh from China




Bo Xilai accomplice Devillers back in Phnom Penh from China

Bo Xilai accomplice Devillers back in Phnom Penh from China

120903_05b

French architect Patrick Devillers (L) stands in front of an immigration officer (R) at the Phnom Penh International Airport on July 17, 2012. Photograph: AFP Photo / General Commissariat of National Police

French architect Patrick Devillers (L) stands in front of an immigration officer (R) at the Phnom Penh International Airport on July 17, 2012. Photograph: AFP Photo / General Commissariat of National Police

The French architect who was arrested and detained by Cambodian authorities at the behest of China last month has returned to Cambodia, authorities said yesterday.

French national Patrick Devillers, who left Cambodia voluntarily last month to co-operate in the murder investigation against the wife of disgraced politician Bo Xilai, had returned to Cambodia 10 days ago, National Police spokesman Lieutenant-General Kirt Chantharith said.

“He just went to China to give information to the Chinese government, and he has now come back to stay in Phnom Penh like normal,” Chantharith said. “He has a business here and never committed any wrongdoing, so he can live and work here normally; he has a wife and children here.”

According to Chantharith, Devillers returned to Cambodia on August 24 after voluntarily travelling to China to aid authorities in their investigation of Gu Kailai, who was given a suspended death sentence on August 20 after being convicted of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood.

Attempts to reach Devillers at his home in Phnom Penh were unsuccessful.

A security guard who worked nearby but did not wish to be named, confirmed that Devillers had been home, and had told the guard: “If someone comes here looking for me, tell them I am not here. I don’t want to meet with anyone.”

Devillers, who had multiple business ties to Gu, was arrested by Cambodian authorities on June 13 at China’s request shortly after Gu was implicated in Heywood’s death.

Although formal extradition papers never materialised, Devillers agreed to go to China more than a month ago, saying in an internet video message that it was “totally true” that he was leaving Cambodia of his own volition to co-operate with Chinese authorities.

A spokesman for the French embassy in Phnom Penh said he had been unaware of Devillers’ return.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cheang Sokha at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Thousands attend CNRP-organised pro-democracy vigil in South Korea

    Thousands of supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Saturday gathered in the South Korean city of Gwangju to hold a candlelight demonstration calling for the “liberation” of democracy in Cambodia. Yim Sinorn, a CNRP member in South Korea, said on

  • US Embassy: Chinese trade does not help like the West’s

    The US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Friday said relations between China and Cambodia did not create jobs or help industry when compared to the trade between the Kingdom and the US. “About 87 per cent of trade [with China] are Chinese imports, which do not

  • Vietnamese land-grabbers held

    Following a provincial court order, Ratanakkiri Military Police on April 16 arrested 12 Vietnamese nationals accused of crossing the border into Cambodia and illegally clearing forest land. The accused are now being detained at Phnom Svay prison in the province. Ratanakkiri military police commander Thav Yen told

  • Eight people sent to court over violent protest

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities on Sunday sent eight people to court for blocking National Road 4 and using violence against authorities in a land dispute in Prey Nop district’s Bit Traing commune. Four police officers and two commune security guards sustained injuries when the protesters