Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Men in Black are back for CFF info

Men in Black are back for CFF info

Men in Black are back for CFF info

A delegation from the United States Justice Department is in Phnom Penh gathering statements from potential witnesses in the case against Cambodian Freedom Fighters (CFF) president Chhun Yasith.

On October 5, eight foreigners were seen leaving the Anti-Drug Department after interviewing a man in a blue prison uniform, who prison officials later confirmed was convicted CFF member Richard Kiri Kim.

"The Justice Department people are here doing depositions, gathering information for the trial of Chhun Yasith," said Jeff Daigle, spokesman for the US Embassy.

"For us it's just a routine kind of thing you do in preparation for a trial - it's very mundane," said Daigle, who could not confirm whether the Justice Department officials included agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

He said the delegation would stay "as long as it takes to get their work done" and said it was too early to tell whether any of the interviewees would be taken to America to testify in Yasith's trial.

Kim Sarin, director of Correctional Center 1, confirmed October 6 that only Richard Kiri Kim has been taken from his prison to testify since October 5.

Sarin said the Cambodian government asked him to allow Kiri Kim to be transported outside the prison for a "long time" to give evidence to the US officials.

The interviews continued October 6 at the Anti-Drug Department, which was being used because it was available, not because of any links to drug crimes, said a policeman

"It takes place in our department because it is quiet and anyway the Ministry of Interior does not work on October 5," said the policeman guarding the department, but would not give his name.

Yasith ran a tax accounting business and his rebel movement from the same office in California, earning his group tags in the media such as "the strip-mall revolutionaries."

The American-Cambodian citizen was arrested in the US on June 1 and charged with tax fraud, and of conspiring to attack a government, for which he faces life imprisonment.

Yasith was accused by a US prosecutor of violating the Neutrality Act, which prohibits conspiring to kill or damage property in a foreign country or carry out military expeditions against a nation with whom the United States is at peace.

During November 2000, 70 CFF members attacked the Ministry of Defense and Council of Ministers buildings in Phnom Penh that left eight people killed and more than 12 wounded.

MOST VIEWED

  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • Our 2018 guide to spending Khmer New Year in Phnom Penh

    Khmer New Year festivities are upon us. For the next few days, travellers will be making their way to their home provinces to eat, celebrate, play traditional games and visit a pagoda with offerings. If you will be staying put in Phnom Penh for the

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the