A Change of Guard

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Saturday, 12 December 2009

FBI Report on Grenade attack 1997

The scene of the grenade attacks look like a massacre.

By Khmerization

The U.S Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been bullied and intimidated into withdrawing from the investigation into the 1997 grenade attacks on the Sam Rainsy Party's demonstration in 1997, claimed Thomas Nicoletti, one of three special FBI agents assigned to help with the investigations.

Background information

On 30th March 1997, opposition leader Sam Rainsy Party, then known as the Khmer Nation Party, led a group of about 200 protesters protesting in front of the National Assembly building to demand democracy and justice be respected.

About 4 grenades were thrown into the crowd killing 19 people and wounding about 190 people. Mr. Sam Rainsy has only managed to survive because one of his bodyguards had used his own body to shield Mr. Rainsy from the grenades. The bodyguard's body was torn into pieces.

Many people pointed the fingers at Prime Minister Hun Sen's Bodyguard Unit for orchestrating the attacks. Under pressures to find the perpetrators and to prove that it is transparent in the investigation, the Cambodian government invited the FBI to help with the investigations. However, recently declassified documents revealed that the FBI agents were intimidated and were frustrated with the lack of co-operation from their Cambodian counterparts that they have withdrawn from the investigations.

Now, the Cambodia Daily has published a few detailed articles about the attacks and the FBI investigation which make very interesting reading. Please click below to read in PDF forms:
1. FBI found partner lacking in 1997 investigation.
2. Documents chart thwarting of '97 investigation.

Thanks to Mr. Bora Touch for providing this information.

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