Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Heng Pov's talk of high crimes 'negates claim to asylum'

Heng Pov's talk of high crimes 'negates claim to asylum'

Heng Pov's talk of high crimes 'negates claim to asylum'

Former Phnom Penh Police Chief Heng Pov's public allegations of crimes by high government

officials negate any claim he may have to political asylum, a government spokesman

said August 24.

"If Heng Pov says he knows about crimes within the government it means he is

an accomplice to these crimes," said Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith.

"So he has no right to seek political asylum."

One of Pov's key allegations pertains to the involvement of high-ranking government

officials in the March 30, 1997 grenade attack on unarmed demonstrators in Phnom

Penh.

Ron Abney, a US citizen injured during the grenade attack, has written to the FBI

requesting that they reopen their investigation into the affair in light of Pov's

revelations.

His call echoes that of opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who on August 16 said the government,

Ministry of Interior, and police needed to undertake a thorough investigation into

the attack using new information provided by Pov.

"Don't forget that Sam Rainsy was quick to accuse people in the government after

the grenade attack and now Heng Pov has released a statement claiming to reveal the

truth," Kanharith said. "The government is waiting to investigate who is

telling the correct version of events."

It is currently uncertain whether Pov will be granted political asylum overseas or

whether he will be returned to Cambodia by Singaporean authorities when his visa

expires on August 26.

"We are hard pressed to say whether Heng Pov will be arrested and sent back

to Cambodia," said Khieu Sopheak, Ministry of Interior spokesman. "The

case is no longer under our jurisdiction; it is for the police to work on resolving

this issue."

Earlier this week Pov's Australian-based lawyer, David Chen, said unless the government

dropped its "trumped up" charges against Pov, the fugitive former police

chief will be washing a lot more of the government's "dirty linen" in public.

Kanharith said that by making public statements, Pov is shooting himself in the foot.

"The more Heng Pov releases statements, the more he jeopardizes his claims for

political asylum," he said. "There is no country that will give Pov political

asylum."

MOST VIEWED

  • Ethnic group ‘disappointed’ to be denied French visas to attend court

    Eleven people at the centre of a case involving seven indigenous Bunong villages in Mondulkiri province pursuing legal action in France have expressed disappointment after the French embassy in Phnom Penh denied their visa applications to attend court. A press release said the 11 included a

  • Cambodia nabs 12th place in best retirement destinations

    Cambodia is an expatriate hotspot for those dreaming of living a more luxurious lifestyle at an affordable cost, according to International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2019. For the fourth year in a row, Cambodia took the top spot in the Cost of Living category.

  • EU starts EBA withdrawal

    The EU on Monday announced that it has begun the 18-month process of withdrawing the Kingdom’s access to its preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement over “a deterioration of democracy [and] respect for human rights”. However, the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) said

  • PM: War result of foreign meddling

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Sunday that Cambodia’s recent history of conflict was caused by foreign interference. “The wars that happened were caused by provocation, incitement, support, smearing and interference from foreign powers, and the group of ignorant people who pushed Cambodia to