News / Asia

French National in China for Questioning in Bo Scandal

Photo of Keystone House, an office block believed to be the living place of Gu Kailai, wife of China's former Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai, is seen in Bournemouth, England, April 18, 2012.Photo of Keystone House, an office block believed to be the living place of Gu Kailai, wife of China's former Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai, is seen in Bournemouth, England, April 18, 2012.
x
Photo of Keystone House, an office block believed to be the living place of Gu Kailai, wife of China's former Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai, is seen in Bournemouth, England, April 18, 2012.
Photo of Keystone House, an office block believed to be the living place of Gu Kailai, wife of China's former Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai, is seen in Bournemouth, England, April 18, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Luke Hunt
PHNOM PENH — A French architect detained in Cambodia for several weeks has flown to Shanghai where he is wanted for questioning in connection with the biggest political scandal to hit China in decades.
 
Patrick Devillers was initially arrested here following a request from China where authorities are engaged in the high-profile investigation of disgraced politician Bo Xilai and his wife Gu Kailai.
 
Chinese authorities are believed to be interested in questioning Devillers about his relationship with Gu Kailai, who is under investigation for last year’s murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.
 
Cambodia authorities detained Devillers on June 13, but did not charge him with any crime. Authorities say he was taken to Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday night where he boarded a flight of his own free will.

In Paris, Alexis Berthier, the assistant spokesperson for the French ministry of foreign affairs told VOA that Devillers chose to go to China after consulting with lawyers and Chinese authorities, but French diplomats were not present for the meeting.  
 
"He made his decision about going back to China after discussions with the Chinese authorities. He informed us that he received some guarantees about what would be going on once he gets to China," said Berthier. "So after this what we can do as the French diplomatic corps is that we can guarantee that he gets full consular protection while he is there."

Berthier said he could not comment if Devillers was under duress when he made the decision, and was not able to say whether or not Devillers would be under some sort of detention while in Beijing.
 
Ray Leos is a local political commentator and Dean of Communications at Pannasastra University here in Phnom Penh. He said Devillers late night flight should not come as a surprise while his fate will be monitored closely from abroad.
 
“Well it remains to be seen but I will say that by all indications Mr. Devillers left of his own accord of his own free will. With regards to Cambodia and China over the last 20 years or so they have had a very close relationship,” said Leos.
 
Devillers had lived in the city of Dalian in the early 1990s when Bo was mayor and is believed to have had business ties with the politician who had been a rising star in the party.
 
The scandal surrounding Bo, the former leader of the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing, first broke several months ago when Bo was stripped of his post as Communist Party secretary in Chongqing and later his wife placed under arrest.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid