US Senator Labels Hok Lundy a ‘Gangster’

Firebrand US Sen­ator Mitch McConnell called Prime Min­ister Hun Sen “an en­emy of de­moc­racy and justice,” and dubbed National Police Di­rec­tor General Hok Lundy a “gangster” in a statement to the US Sen­ate Tuesday.

“Under Hun Sen’s misrule, terrorists, criminal triads and peder­asts find a haven in Cambodia,” Mc­Connell said, according to a co­py of the statement.

The Republican Party member called Hok Lundy a “notorious human rights abuser and gang­ster” and said he should be held accountable for the violence that followed the 1998 elections. He slammed the US Embassy in Phnom Penh for recently issuing Hok Lundy a visa to enter the US.

Government spokesman Khieu Kan­harith on Thursday discounted the senator’s scathing remarks.

A longtime supporter of the op­po­sition Sam Rainsy Party, Mc­Con­­nell has in recent years made sev­eral similar attacks on the Hun Sen government.

“This is a private opinion,” Khieu Kanharith said. “One senator is not the White House or [US] Congress…. If [McConnell] was pro-CPP or pro-Hok Lundy, it would be a surprise to me.”

Hok Lun­dy would not speak to a reporter Thursday.

He was re­cently in the US, attending an annual meeting “on the invitation of the Inter­na­tion­­al As­sociation of Police Chiefs,” Khieu Kanharith said. Hok Lundy has since returned.

McConnell expressed “great disappointment” with the US Embassy in Phnom Penh.

“Why the embassy would issue a visa to someone who is considered by many of his own compatriots to be a terrorist is beyond me,” he said.

The US Embassy cannot comment on individual visa applications, an embassy spokeswoman said Thursday. “If an individual is is­sued a visa to travel to the US, they have met [US] requirements,” the spokeswoman said.

McConnell also voiced sympathy for pop­­ular singer Touch Srey Nich, who was shot three times Oct 21 and is now receiving treatment at a Bang­kok hospital.

“Her only crime [was] apparently being a supporter of a non-CPP party,” McConnell said.


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