The deputy director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation on Sunday invited National Police Commissioner Hok Lundy to visit the US, Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said Monday.
FBI Deputy Director John Pistole, who arrived unannounced in Cambodia on Saturday, invited both Hok Lundy and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng to the US during a meeting in Phnom Penh, Khieu Sopheak said.
A date has not been set for the visit, but it could include attending the graduation of a Cambodian law enforcement official from the FBI Academy in the US State of Virginia, he said.
The invitation follows on the controversial comments of Ambassador John Miller, head of the US State Department’s anti-human trafficking office, who disclosed on Feb 9 that Hok Lundy was denied a visa to visit the US last year due to concerns about his alleged role in human trafficking.
Interior Ministry officials have called the allegations groundless.
Pistole presented Hok Lundy with an award in recognition of contributions to the prosecution in the US of the anti-government Cambodian Freedom Fighters, the US Embassy said in a statement.
CFF leader Chhun Yasith was arrested in California in June on federal charges for his alleged involvement in an attack by lightly armed men on government buildings in Phnom Penh in 2000.
Pistole also informed Sar Kheng that the FBI intends to establish a legal attache office at the US Embassy, the embassy said.
US Embassy spokesman Jeff Daigle said he was unaware of whether Hok Lundy’s visa denial was discussed during the FBI visit.
Khieu Sopheak described the meeting as “very fruitful,” adding that it occurred in a “very cooperative atmosphere,”
Pistole’s three-day visit to Cambodia was part of a regional tour including stops in Hong Kong, the Philippines, China and Japan.