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France - China (Q&A - Excerpt from the daily press briefing - July 18, 2012)

Q - Can you clarify the situation of the French national living in Cambodia, Patrick Devillers, whom China would like to question in connection with the Bo Xilai case? Can you confirm that he went to China of his own free will, and is he completely free to move around?

Did the French authorities receive a request for assistance from Patrick Henri Devillers in Cambodia?

Will Mr. Patrick Henri Devillers benefit from any assistance from the French authorities in China? If so, what type of assistance will he get?

A - Following the arrest of Mr. Devillers in Cambodia on June 13, France provided him with the consular protection to which all our fellow citizens held in detention abroad are entitled. Officials from the Embassy of France in Cambodia visited Mr. Devillers every day.

Within the framework of consular protection, we ensured that Mr. Devillers’s rights were respected. We notably made sure that he was able to choose his own lawyer and receive advice from him that was relevant to his situation.

Mr. Devillers informed us on several occasions - and after having the chance to consult with his lawyer as we had demanded - of his desire to go to China of his own free will in order to cooperate with the Chinese courts. He stated to our ambassador that he had obtained a certain number of guarantees from the Chinese authorities.

France was not included in the discussions that took place in Phnom Penh between Mr. Devillers and the Chinese authorities. It’s therefore not for us to comment on them.

Mr. Devillers will continue to benefit from the full consular protection of our embassy in Beijing.


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