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.
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

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

1 Billion People Used Facebook on Single Day

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised the accomplishment in a posting on the social media site More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs