A French architect who is said to have known disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai and his wife, Gu Kailai, has not been extradited to China from Cambodia, where he was arrested earlier this week.
Cambodian foreign minister Hor Namhong said on Friday that Patrick Devillers’ case needs to be investigated further before he can be sent to China. France has also vied to stop the extradition of the 52-year-old architect who has lived in Cambodia for the past five years, but lived in China for several years before that.
According to the Phnom Penh Post, Hor said, “The government has decided to keep the Frenchman in the country. We decided not to send him to any country, whether France or China. We will keep him in Cambodia.”
Sok Phal, the deputy national police commissioner, told the Wall Street Journal several days ago that China requested Devillers’ extradition. “We may extradite him to China due to the agreement between the two countries,” he said. “We don’t know yet how to deal with him because the situation is changing all the time. We are now investigating the case more.”
However, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei said China does not know anything about the request for Devillers’ extradition, according to RFI’s China bureau.
Devillers is said to have known Bo Xilai, Gu Kailai, and murdered British businessman Neil Heywood. Both Heywood and Devillers were part of a circle of people close to Gu and Bo (when he was mayor of Chongqing in the early 1990s). Devillers and his father owned a real estate company worth millions of dollars in assets, which used the same address as Gu’s law firm in Beijing.
In May, Devillers told the French Le Monde newspaper that he “left China as I arrived… with nothing” and described Heywood as “a noble soul in the tradition of the English idea of honor.”On Friday, a report from the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, citing sources inside the communist party, reported that Gu confessed to killing Heywood, who knew about her financial misdeeds. The murder landed Gu in hot water as she and her husband are now being investigated for a wide range of offenses.
When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, he set in motion a political storm that has not subsided. The battle behind the scenes turns on what stance officials take toward the persecution of Falun Gong. The faction with bloody hands—the officials former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted in order to carry out the persecution—is seeking to avoid accountability for their crimes and to continue the campaign. Other officials are refusing any longer to participate in the persecution. Events present a clear choice to the officials and citizens of China, as well as people around the world: either support or oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. History will record the choice each person makes.
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