Cambodian Ex-police Chief Will Avoid Deportation

The High Court in Malaysia ruled that immigration authorities should “remove Heng Peo [the Cambodian ex-police chief] to his last port of embarkation,” which was Singapore. The ruling now paves the way for him to fly out of Singapore to Finland, where he has been granted a visa. This is much to the objection of the Cambodian government, who has sought custody of Heng Peo because he has been sentenced to in absentia to 18 years in jail by a Cambodian court on charges of masterminding the April 2003 murder of a judge.
     Heng Peo’s own lawyer said he has provided immigration authorities with a flight ticket for his client to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore and on to Finland. Heng Peo’s departure will end more than three months of legal wrangling that followed his detention by Malaysian authorities in October after he overstayed his visa. Heng Peo fears that he may be killed if he returns to Cambodia. Heng Peo maintains his innocence, saying the trial was biased, according to his lawyer.

As reported earlier on ScandAsia, Finland granted Heng Peo a visa earlier this month to travel there because of fears that he might face violations of his rights if deported home. The visa does not allow him to travel anywhere else in the European Union. Cambodian authorities reacted angrily, offering to send all their convicts to Finland, adding that it was “regrettable” that the European country would protect criminals.
     Heng Peo was Phnom Penh’s police chief until 2005. He also served as undersecretary in the Interior Ministry. Heng Peo is also accused of links to the killing of a Singaporean man in Cambodia, and failed murder attempts against a newspaper publisher, an electricity authority official and the national military police chief, the International Herald Tribune reports.

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