THE FBI investigation into the March 30, 1997, grenade attack is continuing but controversy
still surrounds their declassified report to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
At least 19 people died and more than 150 were injured when four grenades were thrown
into a crowd listening to politician Sam Rainsy speak.
Hun Sen's bodyguard unit was present at the attack and according to witnesses assisted
the perpetrators escape.
The FBI were called in then because one of the wounded was an American citizen.
FBI agents were in again Phnom Penh around May this year to conduct interviews and
according one source lie detector tests on witnesses.
One agent made an appointment to interview with a Post staff member at that time
but canceled the arrangements at the last minute.
The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh refused to discuss the case or say if the
cancelation had been at their insistance.
But the US Embassy legal attaché in Bangkok would not comment on the investigation
but said the Embassy in Cambodia had been "one hundred percent supportive [of
The FBI report (which can be viewed in full at FBI's report on Rainsy rally bombing
on the Phnom Penh Post Website) has been criticized by some Washington politicians
as well as local opposition party leader Sam Rainsy. They say the report is biased
and avoids drawing the obvious conclusion that Hun Sen was involved.
After receiving the report Foreign Relations Committee head Senator Jessie Helms
sent a number of written questions to the FBI in an effort to get matters clarified
(his questions and the subsequent answers can be viewed at FBI's answers to Jesse
Helms's questions on the Phnom Penh Post Website).