FBI Director Mueller Calls for More Cooperation With Cambodia

Evolving security threats and diversifying criminal activities require increasingly close cooperation between US and Cambo­dian police, the director of the US Fed­eral Bureau of Investigation told re­porters in Phnom Penh Thursday.

Speaking at the US Embassy, FBI Director Robert Mueller also officially unveiled the Bureau’s Phnom Penh Legal Attache office, the agency’s 60th overseas presence. Cambodian-American Laro Tan will head the local office.

Mueller is one of a string of sen­ior US law enforcement and military officials to visit Cambodia in re­cent years, as bilateral relations have grown increasingly warm following the Sept 11, 2001 attacks.

“With the era of globalization, with the expansion of the Inter­net…terrorists and criminals around the world can cross borders with impunity and that re­quires us, law enforcement and the intelligence community to work closely and co­operatively together to address these threats,” Mueller said.

Cambodian officials said Mueller had meetings Thursday morning with Prime Minister Hun Sen and Interior Minister Sar Kheng. At both, Mueller was accompanied by National Police Chief Hok Lundy, who was invited to Washington in April 2007 by the FBI.

Mueller said he thanked Hun Sen for Cambodia’s cooperation in preparing for the Cambodian Free­dom Fighters trial, due to begin March 11 in Los Angeles.

Responding to a public call from SRP leader Sam Rainsy for the FBI to release the findings of its investigation into the 1997 grenade attack on an opposition rally that left 16 dead and more than 100 wounded, Muel­ler said the FBI would welcome new information.

“I can’t get into the details of the investigation, nor do we generally, absent an indictment or some public charges, discuss the findings of particular investigations,” he said.

SRP Deputy Secretary-General Mu Sochua said the story of the FBI’s investigation into the grenade attack should not end.

“The FBI should keep that case open and release whatever it has found,” she said. “Opening an office should not be a compromise for unfinished business.”


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