Cambodia ponders fate of Frenchman in Bo Xilai case
By Prak Chan Thul
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - A French architect embroiled in China's biggest political scandal in two decades is in custody in Cambodia where authorities are deciding whether he should be extradited to China, a senior police officer said on Wednesday.
Patrick Henri Devillers, 52, had close business ties with the family of deposed Chinese politician Bo Xilai. He also had a close personal relationship with Bo's wife, who has been named as a suspect in last November's murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.
Cambodian Deputy National Police Commissioner Sok Phal said Devillers was in detention while the authorities investigated the case.
"We don't know where we will send him to, but we have an extradition treaty with China," he said. "They asked us to arrest him, we arrested him and we can hold him for 60 days."
He declined to answer further questions. The French embassy in Phnom Penh had confirmed Devillers' arrest on Tuesday but declined comment on Wednesday.
China's Foreign Ministry was no more revealing. "I have no information about that to provide to you," spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing.
China has not said publicly whether Devillers is accused of any crime. Neither Bo nor his wife, Gu Kailai, has been seen in public since mid-March, when Bo was stripped of his post as Communist Party secretary of Chongqing in southwest China.
A friend of Devillers, fellow Frenchman Dimitri Bouvet, told Reuters he had last seen him on June 13. A second friend, businessman Pierre Yves Clais, also said he thought that was the last time Devillers had been seen in public. Continued...