A Change of Guard

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Friday, 31 August 2012

Frenchman linked to Bo Xilai case returns to Cambodia

French architect Patrick Devillers breaks silence about return to China
SIEM REAP, Cambodia | Fri Aug 31, 2012 (Reuters) - A French architect questioned in China as part of an investigation into the country's biggest political scandal in decades has returned to his home in Cambodia, a government official said on Friday.
Patrick Henri Devillers, 52, came back to the capital, Phnom Penh, this month after helping authorities in China with their investigation of Gu Kailai, who was given a suspended death sentence on August 20 after confessing to the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.

Gu, who had business links with Devillers, is the wife of deposed Chinese politician Bo Xilai, whose career came to an abrupt halt after a top policeman who had sought refuge in a U.S. consulate said Bo had covered up Heywood's murder.
"He returned to Cambodia two weeks ago," Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said by telephone.
"In Cambodia, he has not committed any crime, he is a legal immigrant, he has a Cambodian wife, a family and he volunteered to go China and that case is over now."
Devillers' neighbor, Prim Vy, told Reuters by telephone that he had spotted the Frenchman five days ago at his home in Phnom Penh.
Devillers was detained in June and held for several weeks at an unknown location by Cambodian police before he went to China on his own volition. It was not known what details he provided to Chinese police.
He had entered Bo's inner circle while living in Dalian in the 1990s and the got help from then-mayor Bo in chasing up an unpaid debt for his architectural work.
Devillers and Gu gave the same residential address when they set up a British company in 2000 in the town of Bournemouth and an investment firm registered by Devillers in 2006 in Luxembourg listed the Beijing address of the Ang Dao Law Firm - a firm affiliated with Gu. (Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Editing by Martin Petty and Robert Birsel)

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