G ERARD Bouan's successor as press attache at the French Embassy Franck Gellet said he was "quite surprised" to hear of witnesses statements that Bouan had held a child in the path of flying bullets.
Gellet also denied knowledge of a $10,000 settlement between the Frenchman and Sok Seng, the grandmother left to bring up the two remaining children in the Sao family.
Bouan's departure from Cambodia on the day he signed a deal with Seng was "coincidental," said Gellet.
"He had already come to the end of his term here," said Gellet, adding that Bouan had left in a very shocked state.
Gellet refused to go into detail about the incident but said Bouan had been targeted solely because of his car, not because he was a diplomat.
Such accidents were not usual, the new press attache said. "I would not regard it as a particularly important matter.
"It's a case of stealing a car which unfortunately went wrong.
"It is not interesting. It is a family tragedy," Gellet concluded.
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