[Senate Prints 106-32]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

106th Congress                                                  S. Prt.
 1st Session                COMMITTEE PRINT                      106-32




                             A STAFF REPORT

                                 TO THE


                          UNITED STATES SENATE


                             OCTOBER 1999

          Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations


 59-737 CC                WASHINGTON : 1999


                  JESSE HELMS, North Carolina, Chairman

RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana                JOSEPH R. BIDEN, Jr., Delaware
PAUL COVERDELL, Georgia                  PAUL S. SARBANES, Maryland
CHUCK HAGEL, Nebraska                    CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut
GORDON H. SMITH, Oregon                  JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts
ROD GRAMS, Minnesota                     RUSSELL D. FEINGOLD, Wisconsin
SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas                    PAUL D. WELLSTONE, Minnesota
CRAIG THOMAS, Wyoming                    BARBARA BOXER, California
JOHN ASHCROFT, Missouri                  ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey
BILL FRIST, Tennessee

                    Stephen E. Biegun, Staff Director
                  Edwin K. Hall, Minority Staff Director


                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL


                                                September 21, 1999.
The Honorable Jesse Helms
Committee on Foreign Relations

The Honorable Joseph Biden
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Foreign Relations

    Dear Senator Helms and Senator Biden:

    Attached is a report on my two recent trips to Cambodia, in 
December, 1998 (Staffdel Doran) and July, 1999 (Staffdel 
    The primary focus of the trips was the March 30, 1997 
grenade attack in Cambodia, which injured an American citizen 
and which was investigated by the FBI. On the December, 1998 
trip, I was accompanied by Paul Berkowitz and Joseph Rees of 
the House International Relations Committee. On the July, 1999 
trip, I was accompanied by Paul Berkowitz and by Michael 
Westphal of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
    To this day, the perpetrators of the grenade attack have 
not been identified. However, based on my analysis of the 
currently available evidence, which includes FBI reporting, 
press accounts, and numerous interviews in Cambodia, Thailand 
and the United States, my report reaches the following 

          (1) Members of Hun Sen's Bodyguard Force participated 
        in the planning and execution of the March 30, 1997 
          (2) Hun Sen, being only one of two people with 
        authority over the Bodyguard Force, must have known and 
        approved of the attack.
          (3) By June, 1997, the U.S. Government was in 
        possession of overwhelming evidence of conclusions #1 
        and #2 and has done nothing about it.

    U.S. Government passivity on this matter has had profoundly 
negative consequences for democracy in Cambodia, for today, Hun 
Sen once again holds unchallenged power in that unfortunate 
country. With U.S. Government acquiescence, he has succeeded in 
completely overturning the results of the 1993 U.N. elections, 
and gained international recognition of this feat to boot. Part 
of this acquiescence has been the total unwillingness of the 
U.S. Government to confront Hun Sen with its evidence of his 
involvement in this bloody massacre.
    The report details the evidence that leads me to these 
                                    James P. Doran,
                   Professional Staff Member for East Asian Affairs

                            C O N T E N T S


  I. Introduction.....................................................1
 II. Background.......................................................2
        Cambodian Political Situation............................     2
        U.S. Congressional Developments..........................     3
III. The Facts in the Case............................................3
        A Confession.............................................     4
        A Suspect Called ``Brazil''..............................     5
        More Substantiation: The May 1997 Cambodian Police Report     5
        Alternative Theories.....................................     6
 IV. The Role of the U.S. Government..................................8
        The FBI's Investigation: Shoddy, or Just Half-Hearted....     8
        The Chhay Vee/Chom Bun Theun Fiasco......................     8
        On-again, Off-again, and Mostly Off......................     9
        The State Department: Denial as Policy...................    10
  V. Conclusion......................................................11

Appendix 1--Unclassified FBI Report of November 24, 1998.........    13
Appendix 2--FBI Letter to Senator Jesse Helms....................    21
Appendix 3--Cambodian Police Report..............................    27

                List of Names That Appear in the Report


Hun Sen--ex-Khmer Rouge soldier; part of Vietnamese-installed 
        government in 1979; ruler of Cambodia since 1985

Prince Norodom Ranariddh--winner of 1993 elections; co-premier 
        with Hun Sen, 1993-1997

Sam Rainsy--opposition politician; target of March 30, 1997 
        grenade attack

Ron Abney--American citizen injured in attack

General Huy Pised--Commander of Hun Sen's Bodyguard Force

Him Bun Heang--assistant to General Pised

Major Chhin Savon--on-scene commander of Bodyguard Forces at 
        March 30 rally

Mok Chito--Commander of Phnom Penh Municipal Police Force; 
        nephew of Hun Sen

Sar Kheng--Interior Minister from Hun Sen's Cambodian People's 
        Party (CPP)

General Teng Savon--Commander of Investigative Commission on 
        the attack (CPP)

Brazil--a codename for a major suspect in the case

General Nhiek Bun Chhay--former deputy chief of Cambodian armed 
        forces who briefly held Brazil in custody

Chhay Vee--Cambodian who confessed to participating in the 
        crime, then recanted

Chom Bun Theun--accomplice of Chhay Vee

Kun Kim--vice-governor of Kandal province; close associate of 
        Hun Sen

                            I. Introduction

    On March 30, 1997, Cambodia was rocked by a bloody grenade 
attack at a political rally organized by opposition politician 
Sam Rainsy. Shortly after the rally began, at approximately 
8:30 a.m., unidentified attackers tossed four hand grenades 
into the crowd, killing at least sixteen people and injuring 
over 150.
    Sam Rainsy, the apparent target of the attack, was not 
injured, though his personal bodyguard was killed in the blast. 
Also injured in the attack was American citizen Ron Abney, of 
Cochran, Georgia. Abney, an employee of the International 
Republican Institute who was accompanying Rainsy, received 
shrapnel wounds in the leg and hip.
    Rainsy immediately blamed then-Second Prime Minister Hun 
Sen for the attack. Hun Sen initially blamed the Khmer Rouge, 
but subsequently accused Rainsy of staging the attack on 
himself. Shortly afterwards, a Cambodian government commission 
was formed to investigate the incident. The injury to Abney, as 
well as an invitation from the Cambodian government, led to FBI 
involvement in the investigation.
    To date, no one has been brought to justice for this crime. 
The actual grenade throwers remain unidentified, as do the 
ultimate masterminds. However, it is my opinion that sufficient 
evidence exists in order to yield a very obvious conclusion: 
Hun Sen and his Bodyguard Forces were behind this crime.
    In this report, this assertion will be demonstrated by 
summarizing all of the known publicly-available information on 
this matter. To date, no single document has culled together 
all of the available information, nor has the information been 
widely disseminated.
    The large majority of information presented in this report 
will come from three sources: (1) The unclassified FBI report 
to Congress, delivered to the Senate Foreign Relations 
Committee on November 24, 1998; (2) A February 19, 1999 FBI 
letter to Senator Jesse Helms and Congressmen Benjamin Gilman, 
Christopher Smith and Dana Rohrabacher; (3) A report by a 
Cambodian police official written in May, 1997. The texts of 
these three documents appear at the end of this report as 

    (Note: The Cambodian police report appears to be haphazard and 
unprofessionally written, in part due to poor translation into English. 
However, the report is almost wholly congruent with and substantiates 
the information from the FBI and other sources. The redactions in the 
Cambodian police report are to protect the names of witnesses and FBI 

    The remaining information in this staff report is from 
press accounts or interviews with various participants in this 
matter, including victims, Cambodian officials, human rights 
activists and journalists. This investigation entailed two 
trips to Cambodia and Thailand, in December, 1998 (Staffdel 
Doran) and July, 1999 (Staffdel Berkowitz/Doran).
    As a caveat, it should be stated that there may or may not 
currently be sufficient prosecutorial evidence against Hun Sen 
or any of his subordinates. However, the three documents 
summarized and presented in this report speak for themselves. 
Readers should find that this evidence, viewed against the 
backdrop of Hun Sen's well-known history of resorting to 
violence against his political opponents, yields a common sense 
conclusion that Hun Sen in fact bears ultimate responsibility 
for this act of terrorism.
    Prior to presenting the evidence in this case, a bit of 
background is necessary.

                             II. Background

Cambodian Political Situation

    At the time of the March 30, 1997 rally, Cambodia was ruled 
by a coalition government, with power nominally shared by the 
(formerly Communist) Cambodian People's Party (CPP), the 
royalist FUNCINPEC party and the Son Sann Party. The CPP is led 
by then-Second Prime Minister Hun Sen, while FUNCINPEC is led 
by then-First Prime Minister Norodom Ranariddh.
    The titles were deceiving, however, as Hun Sen and the CPP 
were clearly the dominant force in the government. The CPP is a 
derivative of the Kampuchean Revolutionary Party (KRP) that was 
installed in power in 1979 by invading Vietnamese forces. 
Vietnam, the KRP/CPP and Hun Sen ruled Cambodia with an iron 
fist throughout the 1980s, while royalist, democratic and Khmer 
Rouge forces waged a guerilla war against the government.
    In 1989, Vietnamese forces evacuated Cambodia, leaving Hun 
Sen and the CPP in charge. In 1991, the Hun Sen government and 
the opposition signed the Paris Peace Accords, which paved the 
way for U.N.-supervised elections in 1993. Prince Ranariddh, 
FUNCINPEC and its allies emerged victorious from those 
elections, garnering 62% of the vote. Although his party 
received only 38% of the vote, Hun Sen refused to yield power 
and threatened to use his control of the military to start a 
civil war. With the United Nations blinking, Ranariddh was 
forced to allow the CPP into a coalition.
    The coalition was a paper one at best. Hun Sen and the CPP 
continued to control, as they had since 1979, the real source 
of power in Cambodia: guns. Under the coalition, the CPP 
retained true control of the ministries of defense and 
interior. Hun Sen has also maintained a personal bodyguard 
force of as many as 2,500 men. These bodyguards have long been 
noted for their thuggishness, violence and unaccountability. 
They will also appear later in this report.
    The first finance minister in the coalition was Sam Rainsy, 
then a member of FUNCINPEC. Rainsy's aggressive moves to root 
out corruption in the Cambodian government strained his 
relations with both Hun Sen and Ranariddh, resulting in his 
dismissal in October 1994. Shortly thereafter, Rainsy formed 
the Khmer Nation Party and quickly became the most ardent 
oppositionist in Cambodia. To this day he remains 
uncompromising in his opposition to Hun Sen's rule. The rally 
Rainsy organized for March 30, 1997 was in protest of the 
corruption and politicization of the judiciary in Cambodia.
    On July 4, 1997, Hun Sen ended all pretense of a coalition 
government by launching a coup in which Ranariddh and FUNCINPEC 
were ejected from the government by force. Ranariddh and his 
top lieutenants fled the country and over 100 FUNCINPEC members 
and supporters were killed by Hun Sen's forces in the 
aftermath. In early 1998, a Japanese plan was adopted that 
allowed for the return of Ranariddh and Rainsy to Cambodia to 
participate in new elections, which took place on July 26. 
After nearly four months of wrangling over the election 
results, a new government was formed on November 13, 1998 in 
which Hun Sen emerged as sole prime minister. Ranariddh became 
speaker of the parliament, a few lesser cabinet posts were 
given to members of FUNCINPEC and Rainsy assumed an opposition 
role in the parliament.

U.S. Congressional Developments

    In October, 1997, the president signed Public Law 105-118, 
the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1998. 
One provision of that act was a requirement for the president 
to report to Congress on the status of the FBI investigation of 
the Cambodian grenade attack. Although the report was due 
within thirty days of enactment, it was not delivered to the 
respective Committees on Appropriations until April 27, 1998, 
in classified form.
    In late August, an additional copy of the classified report 
was delivered to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. On 
September 1, 1998, Senator Jesse Helms, Chairman of the 
committee, wrote to the president requesting declassification 
of the entire report. The declassified report, which is merely 
a much abridged and slightly updated version of the original, 
was hand delivered by the FBI to the committee on November 24, 
    Viewing the declassified report as inadequate, Senator 
Helms, Congressmen Benjamin Gilman, Christopher Smith and Dana 
Rohrabacher wrote a letter asking twenty questions to FBI 
Director Louis Freeh on January 25, 1999. The return letter 
from the FBI was delivered on February 19, 1999.

                       III. The Facts in the Case

    The following facts in this case are not in dispute, though 
they are only grudgingly admitted by FBI officials and have not 
been disseminated widely in the United States or even on 
Capitol Hill.

    1. Responsibility for security at the rally rested with the 
Phnom Penh Municipal Police Force (PPMPF). At that time PPMPF 
was headed by Mok Chito, a nephew of Hun Sen.\1\
    \1\ FBI report, page 6.
    2. There was an unusually light police presence at the 
rally just before it began. Among the officers present was Mok 
Chito, who was videotaped at the scene.\2\
    \2\ FBI report, page 3; FBI letter to Helms et al, answer to 
question 2.
    3. After what appeared to be a prearranged signal, police 
officers retreated from the scene and four squads of Hun Sen's 
``Bodyguard Force'' (2nd Battalion, 17th Regiment, or ``Unit 
#2'') deployed in a linear position along the western boundary 
of the park where the rally was being held.\3\
    \3\ FBI report, page 6.
    4. Military units such as the Bodyguard Force typically had 
not been deployed at civilian political rallies in Cambodia and 
had not been deployed at any of the previous fourteen Khmer 
Nation Party rallies.\4\
    \4\ FBI report, page 3.
    5. After the attackers threw their grenades, at least two 
of them escaped on foot, through the line of the Bodyguard 
Forces and toward a nearby CPP compound \5\
    \5\ FBI report, page 2; multiple eyewitness accounts in Cambodian 
police report; Phnom Penh Post, April 4-17, 1997.
    6. CPP officials and the leaders of the Bodyguard Force 
were uncooperative in the investigation. For instance:

     Investigation Commission Commander Teng Savon, a 
        CPP member, refused to make Mok Chito, the police chief 
        and Hun Sen's nephew, available for interview by the 
        FBI; \6\
    \6\ FBI letter to Helms, answer to question 2.
     Bodyguard Force Commanding General Huy Pised 
        denied seeing anything that morning and is described by 
        the FBI as only having been ``moderately cooperative'' 
        in the investigation; \7\
    \7\ FBI report, page 7; FBI letter to Helms, answer to question 4.
     Major Chhin Savon, on-scene commander of the 
        Bodyguard Forces at the rally, also denied seeing 
        anything and is described by the FBI as having been 
        ``uncooperative'' in the investigation; \8\
    \8\ ibid.
     CPP Interior Minister Sar Kheng refused an FBI 
        request to interview a suspect called ``Brazil.'' \9\
    \9\ FBI report, page 10.

    7. Bodyguard Force Unit #2 can only be ordered to deploy by 
Huy Pised or Hun Sen himself. \10\ (Pised stated on several 
occasions that he received an order to deploy; on one occasion 
he stated that the order came from Hun Sen's ``cabinet.'') \11\
    \10\ FBI letter to Helms, answer to question 4.
    \11\ Cambodian police report, page 11.

    Simply based on these undisputed facts, it is already 
difficult to conclude other than that Hun Sen ordered this 
attack. But there is still more information to bolster the 

A Confession

    In early June, 1998, two men, Chhay Vee and Chom Bun Theun, 
came forward and confessed to participating in the attack. They 
first made a videotaped confession to representatives of the 
Sam Rainsy Party, stating that Him Bun Heang, an assistant to 
Bodyguard Force Commander Pised, had offered them money to 
participate in an attack on Rainsy. The two men claimed that 
they were coming forward at that point because they feared Hun 
Sen's Bodyguards would kill them for failing in their mission.
    In February, 1999, this videotape was viewed on Capitol 
Hill in the presence of two Cambodian-Americans who provided 
translation. When the translators were asked to judge the 
veracity of the two suspects, each independently replied that 
both Chhay Vee and Chom Bun Theun appeared credible and seemed 
genuinely to fear for their lives. Chhay Vee and Chom Bun Theun 
next confessed to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in 
Phnom Penh and on June 4, 1997 were brought by Rainsy to the 
FBI in Bangkok, where they made a similar confession.

A Suspect Called ``Brazil''

    According to the FBI report, a major suspect in the case 
was an unidentified man codenamed ``Brazil.'' For a brief 
period of time in June, 1997, Brazil was in the custody of 
FUNCINPEC General Nhiek Bun Chhay. During that time, General 
Bun Chhay conducted a videotaped interview of Brazil and 
provided a copy of the tape and related documents to the U.S. 
Embassy in Phnom Penh. The FBI confirms that it received a copy 
of a videotape and a purported statement by Brazil. Brazil 
escaped from custody in early July, 1997, possibly in the chaos 
of Hun Sen's coup and his current whereabouts are unknown, 
according to the FBI.
    When Staffdel Doran interviewed General Nhiek Bun Chhay in 
Bangkok in December 1998, he reported that Brazil's story was 
essentially the same as that of Chhay Vee and Chom Bun Theun: 
Hun Sen's Bodyguard Forces hired him to participate in the 
attack on Rainsy. Brazil also told General Bun Chhay that he 
worked with Chhay Vee and Chom Bon Theun in planning the 
attack, which Brazil said was his third attempt to kill Rainsy.

More Substantiation: The May, 1997 Cambodian Police Report

    According to the May, 1997 Cambodian police report, the FBI 
agent-in-charge was quoted during a meeting as saying: ``Those 
men who threw the grenades are not ordinary people. They are 
Hun Sen's soldiers.'' \12\ The agent based this assertion on 
several pieces of evidence, including that reliable witnesses 
reported that the first thrower looked at the Bodyguard 
soldiers before he tossed his grenade, the bodyguards were 
deployed in linear fashion to defend the CPP compound, and the 
guards at the gate of the compound opened the gate to allow the 
perpetrators to enter.
    \12\ Cambodian police report, page 2.
    The FBI denies that one of its agents ever made this 
statement. However, the Cambodian police report is consistent 
with a June 29, 1997 Washington Post story, which reported that 
the preliminary, classified FBI report also fingered Hun Sen's 
Bodyguard Forces, citing four U.S. government officials 
familiar with its contents.
    The Cambodian police report is replete with eyewitness 
accounts of how the perpetrators ran toward the CPP compound, 
aided and abetted by Hun Sen's Bodyguard Forces, who not only 
allowed the attackers through their line, but also prevented 
Rainsy supporters from pursuing the attackers.
    The report further elaborates on the lack of cooperation in 
the investigation by Hun Sen's lieutenants. For instance, one 
passage notes that much time was wasted at an April 26 meeting 
because Teng Savon (the CPP Investigative Head) persisted in 
attacking Rainsy.\13\ Another account recalls how on May 8 Huy 
Pised ordered Chhin Savon (the on-scene Bodyguard Commander) to 
stop talking to the FBI as Chhin Savon began to provide details 
of how his men were deployed.\14\ On another occasion, Him Bun 
Heang, the assistant to Huy Pised, interrupted and tried to 
silence Pised during an interview with the FBI just as Pised 
was about to say exactly who ordered him to deploy his men the 
morning of March 30.\15\
    \13\ Cambodian police report, page 3.
    \14\ ibid, page 11.
    \15\ ibid, page 8.
    The report also contains an accounting of how two of the 
perpetrators may have been escorted away from the crime scene 
by associates of Hun Sen. According to the report, at 
approximately 2 p.m. the day of the attack, a helicopter landed 
near Chea Sim park in Phnom Penh. The park is very close to 
where the grenade attack took place. Awaiting the helicopter 
were several Toyota Landcruisers, in one of which Him Bun Heang 
was seen with two men who looked like suspects. This is the 
same Him Bun Heang who tried to silence Huy Pised in an FBI 
interview and whom Chhay Vee and Chom Bun Theun confessed had 
recruited them for the attack. After the chopper landed, the 
two suspects boarded the helicopter with Kun Kim, the Vice 
Governor of Kandal province and a close associate of Hun Sen.
    The helicopter incident is not addressed in the FBI report, 
and in response to a congressional query on the matter, the FBI 
stated that Teng Savon had informed them that the reports were 
untrue. One is left to believe that the FBI accepts Teng 
Savon's assurances. While further corroboration of the 
helicopter incident has not been uncovered, a simple denial 
from Teng Savon is hardly the last word on the matter, given 
the aforementioned instances of his lack of cooperation in the 
    The information above provides compelling evidence of the 
Bodyguard Force's and Hun Sen's involvement in the grenade 
attack on Sam Rainsy. Absent a credible alternative theory, the 
evidence of Hun Sen's complicity is overwhelming.

Alternative Theories

    Only a few alternative theories have been adduced in this 
case. All are unsupported by evidence. The first alternative 
theory, put forth in the immediate aftermath of the attack by 
Hun Sen, is that Sam Rainsy staged this attack on himself. 
Other than Hun Sen saying so and an indiscrete sentence in the 
FBI report, there is not a single shred of evidence to support 
this charge. In fact, the FBI was given a chance to provide 
evidence of this theory but pointedly declined to do so.
    In their letter to Director Freeh, Senator Helms and 
Congressmen Gilman, Smith and Rohrabacher asked the following 

          ``On page nine, the report states that Rainsy became 
        agitated when the FBI informed him that `there were 
        genuine questions about the allegations and motives of 
        the grenade throwers.' What were those questions? Was 
        this an insinuation that Rainsy was somehow involved in 
        the attack? Why is there no elaboration on this in the 

    The FBI's response was as follows:

          ``Those are not the words of the CA (Case Agent) and 
        do not appear in the report.'' \16\
    \16\ FBI letter to Helms, question and answer 5.

    When the Senate Foreign Relations Committee received this 
reply from the FBI, the report was double-checked to see if it 
had been misread. It was not. The quotation in the question 
appears on page nine, paragraph four, lines four and five of 
the FBI report (Appendix 1). Since the FBI declined to answer 
this question forthrightly, one must conclude that they are not 
in possession of any evidence that Rainsy was involved in the 
    Sam Rainsy's personal bodyguard died in this massacre. His 
good friend Ron Abney was seriously wounded. It is simply not 
credible to claim that this man, who by all accounts except Hun 
Sen's is not violent, committed this crime.
    Another theory is that the attack was an inside job, 
perpetrated by someone in Rainsy's party. This theory was put 
forth by former U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia, Ken Quinn, in a 
meeting with Staffdel Berkowitz/Doran on July 5, 1999. With 
considerable enthusiasm, Ambassador Quinn mentioned that the 
French government was interested in a Sam Rainsy Party member 
named In Thaddee, a dual French-Cambodian citizen. Ambassador 
Quinn further commented that In Thaddee had Khmer Rouge family 
connections and had a history of being around violence.
    Staffdel Berkowitz/Doran met with In Thaddee on July 6, 
1999. He struck the delegation as highly educated and 
articulate. When asked point blank about ``rumors'' that he was 
a possible suspect in the case, Thaddee was very open and 
direct. He informed the delegation that these were not new 
rumors; he was in fact mentioned as a suspect in the Phnom Penh 
Post just after the attack and was subsequently questioned by 
the French government.
    Thaddee seemed amused that this story was still around, 
stating that he had not heard it in two years and had not been 
questioned by the French or Cambodian governments since just 
after the attack. Thaddee was also very open about his Khmer 
Rouge family connections. His uncle was a Khmer Rouge officer, 
but this has not prevented Thaddee from voicing support for a 
tribunal to bring the Khmer Rouge to justice.
    For his part, Sam Rainsy regards the In Thaddee theory as 
ridiculous. Since neither the FBI nor any other source has even 
mentioned this theory in the course of this investigation, it 
is evident that this theory holds no water whatsoever.
    Other theories are that the Khmer Rouge were responsible 
(certain members of the CPP have put forth this view) and that 
someone staged the attack to make it look like Hun Sen and/or 
the CPP did it (this was also voiced by Ambassador Quinn on 
July 5). Neither of these theories seems plausible. The Khmer 
Rouge were waning in numbers and power by March, 1997 and have 
never been noted for urban terrorism. Staging an attack in 
order to frame someone else requires resources that simply are 
not available to people not in power in Cambodia, and the power 
in Cambodia has been held by Hun Sen and the CPP for twenty 
years. In any case, no evidence has been adduced to 
substantiate either one of these theories.

                  IV. The Role of the U.S. Government

    As stated in the introduction, neither the State Department 
nor the FBI have been very forthcoming with Congress, Sam 
Rainsy or the public on this matter.

The FBI's Investigation: Shoddy, or Just Half-Hearted?

    Two and one-half years after this attack, the FBI still has 
not identified a suspect in this case. While this may not be 
unusual, the FBI also refuses, both in its report and in 
briefings to Congress, to analyze any of its findings or 
suggest where the findings might be leading. In a briefing to 
Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff in February 1999, FBI 
officials declined to guess as to who might have been behind 
the attack and seemed to suggest that there was equal validity 
to competing theories of the crime.
    As demonstrated above, this is an intellectually untenable 
position (unless the FBI has withheld from Congress evidence 
that substantiates any alternative theories). Also as has been 
demonstrated, the FBI was in possession of sufficient evidence 
by the end of May, 1997 to reasonably, if not legally, conclude 
Hun Sen's guilt. The FBI has also had over a year in which to 
judge the veracity of Chhay Vee's and Chom Bun Theun's June, 
1998 confession, but has not done so. It is difficult to 
believe the FBI does not by this time have a reasonable guess 
as to who committed this attack.
    Still, the main concern with the FBI's role in this case 
rests not with its inability or unwillingness to name or arrest 
a suspect. The FBI does deal in the legal realm, and may not 
possess enough evidence to prosecute Hun Sen or anyone else. 
The foremost concern, rather, is over the seemingly sloppy and 
indifferent approach the FBI has taken toward this entire 
investigation, at least since June, 1997.

The Chhay Vee/Chom Bun Theun Fiasco

    The most egregious example of this is the FBI's handling of 
the Chhay Vee/Chom Bun Theun confession. As noted above, the 
FBI interviewed these men in Bangkok on June 4, 1998, during 
which they confessed to participating in the grenade attack 
under the employ of Him Bun Heang, one of Hun Sen's Bodyguards. 
This confession is described on page 12 of the FBI report.
    However, in the next paragraph, the FBI recounts how in a 
November 13, 1998 re-interview, Chhay Vee and Chom Bun Theun 
had changed their story and denied any involvement in the 
attack. Furthermore, the two men charged that they only 
confessed in June because a Sam Rainsy Party official paid them 
$15,000 each. Without further elaboration or substantiation, 
the FBI report ends with this paragraph, leaving the reader 
with the impression that the FBI accepts Chhay Vee's and Chom 
Bun Theun's recantation rather than their original confession.
    Incredibly, the FBI omitted from the report the fact that 
Chhay Vee and Chom Bun Theun were taken into custody by Hun 
Sen's police in August, 1998. Obviously, Hun Sen's police had 
gotten a chance to work these two men over. When questioned on 
this matter (questions 12 and 13 of the Helms letter), the FBI 
made still more unbelievable revelations. It turns out that the 
FBI's November 13 re-interview, in which the suspects recanted 
and blamed Rainsy, took place in the private home of Om 
Yentieng, an advisor to Hun Sen.
    Moreover, the FBI admits in the letter that it was aware of 
reports that Chhay Vee and Chom Bun Theun had been in police 
custody, but deemed that fact irrelevant! When queried further 
on this matter by Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff in 
February, 1999, the FBI would not acknowledge that their 
approach to this aspect of the case was flawed, clinging to a 
``all theories are equally valid'' defense.
    It is absolutely astonishing that the FBI would ignore the 
fact that the suspects had been in the custody of Hun Sen's 
police, allow the interview to take place in the presence of an 
advisor to Hun Sen, and omit this critical information from the 
report. While the June, 1998 confession by these men may not be 
conclusive, it is more believable than the November, 1998 
recantation, which is undeniably tainted.
    It is difficult to believe that the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation, the world's premier law enforcement agency, is 
incompetent. Could the FBI really believe that Chhay Vee's and 
Chom Bun Theun's arrest by Hun Sen's henchmen was irrelevant? 
Could the FBI not know who Om Yentieng was? According to a 
journalist with long experience in Cambodia, Om Yentieng is 
well-known as one of Hun Sen's chief thugs.
    Staffdel Berkowitz/Doran met with Om Yentieng on July 5, 
1999 to discuss the grenade attack, where he made several 
implausible statements to the delegation. Om informed the 
delegation that he is conducting his own investigation into the 
attack and would soon issue a report. When the delegation 
inquired as to how his investigation was proceeding, Om replied 
that in order to get more concrete results, he needed more 
cooperation from Sam Rainsy. To anyone familiar with this case, 
this is not a credible statement, as no one has pushed harder 
for continued investigation into this matter than Sam Rainsy.
    Om also stated that the suspect Brazil was alive and his 
whereabouts were known to the government of Cambodia. As 
mentioned previously, the FBI has no information on the 
whereabouts of Brazil and every other person queried about 
Brazil believes he is dead. When Om was pressed for Brazil's 
whereabouts or whether he was in custody or under surveillance, 
Om became evasive. When asked if he planned to interview Brazil 
before he issued his report on the grenade attack, Om replied 
negatively, stating that Brazil was a ``secondary'' matter. Of 
course, Brazil, if alive, is the key to the whole 
    All of this strains credulity and the FBI's collusion with 
a man so lacking in credibility as Om Yentieng seriously calls 
into question the Bureau's commitment to get to the bottom of 
this matter.

On-again, Off-again, and Mostly Off

    There are other examples of FBI shortcomings in this 
investigation. For instance, until the November, 1998 report 
was issued, Congress had been led to believe that the 
investigation was ongoing. The last sentence in the report, 
however, says ``All investigative leads are complete. The FBI 
has presented its investigative findings to the Department of 
Justice for a prosecutive opinion.'' (Recall that in the 
February, 1999 briefing, FBI officials asserted that they could 
not hazard a guess as to the identity of the culprits.)
    Then, on January 25, 1999, just after the Helms letter was 
faxed to the FBI, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was 
informed by phone that the investigation was indeed still 
ongoing, and that agents would be going back to Cambodia to 
conduct some polygraphs. As of this writing, the committee has 
not been informed by the FBI as to whether those polygraphs 
have been conducted, despite repeated inquiries and a written 
commitment by the FBI to keep the committee informed of any new 
developments. Ambassador Quinn did inform Staffdel Berkowitz/
Doran on July 5, however, that the FBI was in Cambodia in May, 
1999 to conduct more interviews, re-interviews and polygraphs.
    It seems as though this investigation is on-again, off-
again, depending on who and when one asks. In truth, however, 
very little has been done on this investigation since the 
summer of 1997. One possible reason for this is that Ambassador 
Quinn informed the FBI agents that they had been targeted for 
attack and could not be protected, thus prompting their 
departure from Cambodia in June, 1997.
    But this argument only goes so far. For starters, with so 
many Cambodians in exile in Thailand during late 1997 and 1998, 
many people, including General Nhiek Bun Chhay, could have been 
interviewed there. Also, the situation in Cambodia pacified in 
early 1998. Yet only one FBI interview was conducted in 
Cambodia (in Hun Sen's camp) over the two-year period from June 
1997-May 1999. Lastly, many interviewees flatly reject the 
notion that the FBI agents' lives were in danger. One 
interviewee, an American who lived in Cambodia for many years, 
stated that he and his group had been ``threatened'' many times 
by the Khmer Rouge, but it was well understood that most of 
these threats were just bluster.
    A question beyond the scope of this inquiry remains: Why 
was the FBI investigation essentially stopped in its tracks in 
the summer of 1997?

The State Department: Denial as Policy

    For the most part, State Department officials in Washington 
and Phnom Penh plead ignorance of the investigation into the 
attack and refer questions to the FBI. For example, in answer 
to a question about the attack at a February 24, 1999 hearing 
before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary 
Albright replied that all such questions should be directed to 
the FBI. When asked by Staffdel Doran in December, 1998 to 
hazard a guess as to who was behind the attack, the Deputy 
Chief of Mission at Embassy Phnom Penh could not answer, 
stating that in Cambodia, a lot of grenades go off. The DCM 
also stated that the State Department had very little role in 
the investigation.
    Yes, grenades do go off in Cambodia, but the State 
Department did not have a little role in this investigation. 
According to the FBI report, Ambassador Quinn was aware of all 
56 interviews conducted by the FBI while they were in Cambodia 
and participated in many of the meetings. The June, 1998 
confession by Chhay Vee and Chom Bun Theun took place in the 
U.S. embassy in Bangkok. The November re-interview was 
conducted by our Bangkok-based Legal Attache and the security 
officer from our embassy in Phnom Penh. The Cambodia desk in 
Washington was also aware of the contents of the original 
classified FBI report.
     Again, the bulk of the FBI's findings were known by June, 
1997. The undisputed facts listed in section III of this report 
were known to the State Department by that time. Yet during the 
intervening two years, the State Department has continued to do 
business with Hun Sen. According to one source with specialized 
knowledge of Cambodia, one reason the State Department did not 
want to press the issue too far in the April-June, 1997 period 
was that it did not want to destabilize the fragile coalition 
in Cambodia at the time. Of course, it was Hun Sen who 
powerfully destabilized that coalition with his bloody July 4 
    Possessing such overwhelming evidence that Hun Sen and his 
Bodyguard Force were behind this attack, a legitimate course of 
action would have been to recall our Ambassador and downgrade 
relations with Phnom Penh until Hun Sen left or was removed 
from the scene. Instead, the State Department acceded to the 
Japanese plan to allow Hun Sen to stage elections in July, 
1998, tried to confirm a new ambassador to Cambodia before the 
elections, and offered no support whatsoever to Ranariddh and 
Rainsy in the autumn of 1998 as they protested Hun Sen's faulty 

                             V. Conclusion

    This report has attempted to present only the facts. These 
include undisputed facts, indisputable facts and, in a few 
cases, allegations that have at least some corroboration. They 
lead to three inescapable conclusions:

    (1) Members of Hun Sen's Bodyguard Force participated in 
the planning and execution of the March 30, 1997 attack.
    (2) Hun Sen, being only one of two people with authority 
over the Bodyguard Force, must have known and approved of the 
    (3) By June, 1997, the U.S. Government was in possession of 
overwhelming evidence of conclusions #1 and #2 and has done 
nothing about it.

    Today, Hun Sen once again holds unchallenged power in 
Cambodia. With U.S. Government acquiescence, he has succeeded 
in completely overturning the results of the 1993 U.N. 
elections, and gained international recognition of this feat to 
boot. Part of this acquiescence has been the total 
unwillingness of the U.S. Government to confront Hun Sen with 
its evidence of his involvement in this bloody massacre.

                               APPENDIX 1



  Report on the FBI's Investigation of the March 30, 1997, Bombing in 
                          Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Requested in the 1998 Foreign Operations Appropriation Act (Public Law 

    At approximately 8:30 a.m. on March 30, 1997, unidentified 
assailants detonated four grenades during a Khmer National 
Party (KNP) political protest demonstration led by Sam Rainsy, 
the KNP party leader. (The KNP is one of three competing 
political parties in Cambodia, along with Hun Sen's Cambodia 
People's Party (CPP) and Prince Norodom Ranariddh's FUNCINPEC 
party.) The demonstration was held in a park opposite the 
National Assembly in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and attended by many 
of the party's supporters. Initial investigation indicated that 
two unknown subjects escaped on foot after throwing two 
grenades from behind the KNP supporters. Conflicting reports 
were also received that individual(s) either on a motorcycle 
and/or in a white sedan had dropped two additional grenades. A 
unit of heavily-armed troops in full combat assault uniforms 
was positioned near the KNP speech platform. According to local 
media reports, these soldiers made no attempt to apprehend the 
attackers and prevented KNP supporters from doing so.
    Rainsy publicly blamed Second Prime Minister Hun Sen for 
the attack while Hun Sen's party--the CPP--publicly blamed the 
Khmer Rouge. Hun Sen later blamed Rainsy for staging the attack 
against himself.
    Cambodian Police reports indicate between 16 and 20 people 
attending the demonstration were killed and 150 wounded, many 
seriously. Sam Rainsy, the apparent target of the attack, 
escaped without injury. Among those killed were two 13-year-old 
children, a 17-year-old student, Rainsy's bodyguard, a 
journalist and several female garment workers. A Chinese 
journalist, who suffered serious abdominal wounds, was among 
the injured.
    During the attack, Ron Abney, an American citizen and Chief 
of the Delegation of the International Republican Institute 
(IRI), sustained shrapnel wounds in the leg and was evacuated 
to Mt. Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore for medical treatment. 
He was subsequently released to the care of his personal 
physician in Cochran, Georgia, on April 8, 1997.
    CPP public statements indicated that there was an usually 
light police presence, approximately 20 officers, considerably 
less than present at previous KNP rallies. None of these 
officers were injured: None of the previous rallies had a 
military presence, which for the March 30, 1997, rally was 
confirmed to be a detachment of Hun Sen's bodyguards.
    On March 31, 1997, FBIHQ apprised the Terrorism and Violent 
Crime Section (TVCS), Criminal Division, Department of Justice, 
(DOJ), of the information available surrounding the incident 
and the injury of Mr. Abney and an opinion was rendered that, 
pursuant to Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 2332, which states 
``it is a federal crime for a terrorist overseas to kill a U.S. 
national, attempt to murder a U.S. national, conspire to murder 
a U.S. national, or to engage in physical violence (a) with the 
intent to cause serious bodily injury to a U.S. national, or 
(b) with the result that serious bodily injury is caused to a 
U.S. national,'' the FBI had jurisdiction to initiate an 
investigation into this matter.
    On April 1, 1997, First Deputy General Director of the 
National Police Chhay Bornlay requested FBI assistance, 
especially sketch artist assistance, on behalf of FUNCINPEC. 
FBIHQ discussed this Foreign Police Cooperation request with 
the Department of State Office for Counterterrorism and decided 
that any request for FBI assistance should come from the entire 
Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) and not just one of the 
coalition partners.
    On April 4, 1997, the FBI Investigative Case Agent (ICA) 
interviewed Ron Abney in Mt. Elizabeth Hospital regarding the 
grenade attack. The interview was conducted with the U.S. 
Embassy Regional Security Officer (RSO). Abney advised that 
while he did not believe he was the intended target of the 
attack, he would have been an ideal target of opportunity.
    On April 9, 1997, the RGC formally requested the assistance 
of an FBI sketch artist to draw composites provided by 
eyewitnesses. Also on that day, FBIHQ provided the TVCS a copy 
of the interview with Ron Abney. Upon review of the interview, 
the TVCS opined that, pursuant to Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 
2332a (Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction), the FBI had 
jurisdiction to investigate the March 30, 1997, attack.
    Based on the FBI's investigative jurisdiction and 
invitation by the RGC, the FBI sent an agent to Cambodia in 
furtherance of this investigation. The agent was advised by 
FBIHQ to work closely with the USDS Regional Security Officer 
(RSO) in Cambodia. The Cambodian desk officer at the State 
Department and the U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia were both 
apprised by the FBI of the FBI's investigative responsibility 
in this matter.
    The ICA initially traveled to Cambodia on April 17, 1997, 
to meet with the U.S. Ambassador and Embassy officials. The 
Embassy officials informed the FBI of the Cambodian officials' 
willingness to assist the FBI in its investigation.
    On April 24, 1997, the FBI Legal Attache (Legat) in 
Bangkok, an FBI Sketch Artist and the ICA were briefed by 
Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn. Also, approval was obtained for a 
second FBI agent to travel to Cambodia to assist in the 
investigation. The second FBI agent arrived in Cambodia on 
April 29, 1997.
    On April 26, 1997, FBI representatives met with Ambassador 
Quinn; the RSO; Co-Deputy Prime Minister/Co-Minister of the 
Interior Sar Kheng (Kheng serves in both capacities for the 
Cambodian People's Party or CPP); Co-Minister of the Interior 
You Hockry (FUNCINPEC); (General Chhay Bornlay (FUNCINPEC), 
advisor to You Hockry, and Deputy Director General of the 
National Police Teng Savon. Translation was provided by General 
Keo Sopheak, advisor to Sar Kheng. This meeting was primarily 
an introduction of personnel and an expression of gratitude 
regarding the FBI's prompt response to the Cambodian's request 
for investigative assistance. The FBI requested that publicity 
regarding the FBI be kept to a minimum and informed those 
present at the meeting that the FBI's instructions were to 
investigate the injury of a U.S. citizen during a terrorist 
attack. During this meeting the FBI was advised that General 
Teng Savon would command the investigation and the primary FBI 
contacts would be Keo Sopheak representing the CPP and Chhay 
Bornlay representing FUNCINPEC.
    The FBI proceeded with its investigation in Phnom Penh, in 
concert with the Cambodian Commission consisting of 
representatives from both the CPP and FUNCINPEC. During this 
investigation, every effort was made by the FBI to conduct a 
criminal investigation in accordance with the FBI's extra-
territorial responsibilities and avoid involvement in 
Cambodia's internal politics. After a week of joint Commission 
investigative inactivity, numerous leads and eyewitnesses were 
developed by the FBI ICA. With the concurrence of the U.S. 
Ambassador and Police Major General Savon, the ICA conducted 
extensive debriefings of eyewitnesses who offered information 
to the FBI but refused to cooperate with the Cambodian Police 
or the Investigation Commission.
    In addition to eyewitness testimony, photographic evidence 
was obtained from an additional witness. After reviewing the 
photographs related to the incident, and presenting a photo-
spread to witnesses, it was determined that one of the photos 
contained a subject who appears to be one of the grenade 
throwers. Efforts were made to fully identify this individual.
    After the first week of the investigation, the FBI team 
briefed the Ambassador of what they felt was insufficient 
cooperation by the police, including the inability to question 
members of the military unit guarding the compound of the 
Second Prime Minister. The Ambassador offered to assist and it 
was jointly agreed that they would meet with Interior Minister 
Sar Kheng in an effort to enhance cooperation. On May 2, 1997, 
the ICA and Ambassador Quinn met with Co-Deputy Prime Minister 
(CPP) Sar Kheng.
    Based on information obtained from witnesses, including Sam 
Rainsy, it was learned that a long-standing feud exists between 
former FUNCINPEC Secretary of the Treasury and KNP President, 
Sam Rainsy, and CPP Second Prime Minister, Hun Sen. Sam Rainsy 
claimed to have been surveilled on several occasions prior to 
the March 30, 1997, grenade attack. On March 26, 1997, the KNP 
requested a legal permit, issued by the Ministry of the 
Interior, to demonstrate. The KNP obtained permission to 
demonstrate on March 29, 1997. Security was the responsibility 
of the Phnom Penh Municipal Police Force (PPMPF) and its 
Commander, Mok Chito, Hun Sen's nephew.
    The PPMPF was not represented on the Investigation 
Commission and its Commander was not made available for 
    According to Sam Rainsy and retired Secretary of State Kong 
Korm, 14 previous KNP demonstrations suffered only mild police 
harassment. Although a small number of police were initially 
present prior to the rally, police presence was unobserved as 
the rally began on March 30, 1997. After what appeared to be a 
prearranged signal ordering a retreat of police officers, four 
squads of Hun Sen's ``Bodyguard Force'' (2nd Battalion, 17th 
Regiment) were deployed, in a linear position, along Street 7 
on the park's West boundary. A military unit has never been 
deployed at a civilian political rally in the past according to 
Sam Rainsy.
    On May 9, 1997, the ICA and six police officials 
interviewed Brigadier General Huy Pised, Major Chhin Savon and 
another soldier at the Ministry of Interior Police General 
Staff Headquarters. General Pised is the commanding general of 
Bodyguard Unit #2 of the 17th Division assigned to protect 
Second Prime Minister Hun Sen. Major Chhin Savon was the on-
scene commander of 15 soldiers from Bodyguard Unit #2 at the 
March 30, 1997, rally. During the interview, General Pised and 
Major Savon denied that anyone escaped through the perimeter. 
Furthermore, they state ``We saw nothing.''
    On May 11, 1997, the ICA and Legat Bangkok interviewed Sam 
Rainsy in Bangkok, Thailand. After FBI representatives informed 
Rainsy that public disclosure of this meeting would jeopardize 
the FBI's investigation, Rainsy consented not to reveal the 
convocation of the interview. In his account of the events on 
March 30, 1997, Rainsy noted the unusual presence of military 
forces and a lack of regular police forces. This arrangement 
was counter to the RGC deployment during his 14 previous 
demonstrations in Phnom Penh. On May 14, 1997, the FBI 
reinterviewed Rainsy in Cambodia in conjunction with the RGC 
investigators. No additional investigative information was 
gathered as a result of this interview.
    On the evening of May 14, 1997, the FBI representatives 
briefed Ambassador Quinn on the status and findings of the 
investigation. Investigation to date failed to develop evidence 
that the United States was the primary target of the March 30, 
1997, attack. The FBI suggested the following recommendations 
be provided to the RGC investigative commission:

    1. That the FBI's sketch artist and one FBI agent return to 
the United States.
    2. That the local media be advised that the U.S. inquiry 
regarding Abney is completed but that it is classified 
``Secret'' and only releasable by the U.S. Department of 
Justice, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State.
    3. That an FBI agent remain in Cambodia to assist the RGC 
investigation in an overt advisory capacity to the Commanding 
General of the Police investigative commission.
    4. That the FBI provide the Commanding General written 
investigative leads which need to be completed to resolve the 
    5. That the investigative commission regularly submit their 
investigative reports to the FBI representative.
    6. That the Co-Deputy Prime Ministers submit a formal 
letter requesting the above-outlined FBI investigative 
    7. That no statements be made to the Cambodian media 
regarding the FBI representative.
    8. That if the Cambodian Police fail to initiate or 
accomplish the FBI's recommended investigatory steps within ``a 
reasonable period of time,'' then the police should provide a 
statement as to cause.
    9. That the status of the investigation be re-addressed 
with the investigative commission within 14 working days. If no 
significant progress was made by that time, then the presence 
of the FBI representative would be terminated after 30 working 
    10. That the commission immediately use the composite 
sketches provided by the FBI by publishing them and presenting 
them to all potential subjects and witnesses.

    Ambassador Quinn approved the 10 recommendations. In 
addition, Co-Minister of the Interior Sar Kheng and Sam Rainsy 
both concurred with the FBI's role as outlined in the third 
    On May 16, 1997, in accordance with the first 
recommendation, the FBI's sketch artist and one FBI agent 
returned to the United States.
    On May 17, 1997, Sar Kheng met with Ambassador Quinn and 
conveyed the sentiment that the composite sketches should be 
held back from publication because the investigation into the 
identity of the persons depicted was on-going.
    On May 22, 1997, Rainsy asked the ICA for a copy of the 
investigative report. Rainsy was informed that the ICA could 
not accede to Rainsy's request. Rainsy expressed unhappiness 
and some anger at the fact that he would not be given a copy of 
any FBI reports on this investigation. Rainsy became even more 
agitated when the ICA informed Rainsy that there were genuine 
questions about the allegations and motives of the grenade-
throwers. Rainsy then suggested that the FBI agent should be 
careful because he might become a target for violence. Rainsy 
also predicted that another violent incident would occur in the 
near future.
    On May 27, 1997, Sam Rainsy conducted a press conference in 
which he linked the FBI's investigation to a ``Preliminary 
Report'' which Rainsy claimed pointed to Second Prime Minister 
Hun Sen as the culprit of the March 30, 1997, attack. Rainsy 
also claimed to have a RGC ``confidential report,'' given to 
him by First Prime Minister Norodom Ranariddh, substantiating 
Rainsy's claim of Hun Sen's culpability.
    During the FBI's presence in Cambodia, 56 interviews were 
conducted by the FBI. Twenty-nine interviews were with the 
joint FBI-Cambodian coalition, six interviews with only the 
FUNCINPEC police present, and 21 interviews were conducted 
privately with U.S. Embassy personnel present. All interviews 
were conducted with the Ambassador's knowledge. Some of the 
witnesses interviewed spoke English. For those interviews which 
required a translator, translations were provided by either 
FUNCINPEC General Bornlay, CPP General Keo Sopheak, or one of 
two U.S. Embassy personnel. Seven of the private interviews of 
witnesses were translated by Rainsy. The two Embassy 
translators provided translations for 24 of the interviews that 
were conducted with the Cambodian officials. The FBI's sketch 
artist produced nine sketches depicting three suspects. Six of 
the sketches were rendered during private interviews and three 
sketches while in the company of the investigative commission. 
Three of the sketches (one of each suspect), were provided to 
the Cambodians. On May 29, 1997, and again on May 30, 1997, the 
sketches were published in the Cambodian media.
    On June 19, 1997, Legat Bangkok met with Ambassador Quinn, 
Co-Ministers of the Interior Sar Kheng and You Hockry and Ok 
Serei Sopheak, advisor and Director of Cabinet to Sar Kheng. 
Legat Bangkok advised that the FBI was interested in obtaining 
any reports or results of the investigation generated by the 
investigative commission and any information about a suspected 
grenade-thrower identified as ``Brazil.'' Cambodian press 
reports identified ``Brazil'' as a participant in the March 30, 
1997, attack who was apprehended by Royal Cambodian Armed 
Forces (RCAF). Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. General Nhek Bun Chhay 
(FUNCINPEC) on June 1, 1997, and held in General Bun Chhay's 
custody. ``Brazil'' is believed to be identical to FBI subject 
#2. Sar Kheng and You Hockry denied having any specific 
information on ``Brazil.'' In follow-up meetings on June 23 and 
June 24, 1997, Sar Kheng would not approve a request for a 
joint FBI-RGC interview of ``Brazil.''
    On June 20, 1997, Legat Bangkok met with Sar Kheng, You 
Hockry and the investigative commission. Legat Bangkok received 
two investigative reports on the March 30, 1997, attack in 
Khmer, prepared by the commission. Legat Bangkok forwarded 
these reports to FBIHQ for translation. Both Ministers stressed 
that all information generated from the investigation should be 
kept from the Cambodian press. Minister Hockry noted that the 
commission had received some information by telephone about the 
March 30, 1997, attack since the publication of the composite 
sketches. Minister Hockry advised that he would write a report 
based upon his notes from the phone calls to the commission and 
to himself and provide the report to the FBI. Hockry mentioned 
that ``Brazil'' had not been arrested by General Bun Chhay and 
that, contrary to press reports, ``Brazil'' had made no 
admissions of involvement in the March 30, 1997, attack.
    Between July 4 and July 6, a coup led by CPP Prime Minister 
Hun Sen's military forces overthrew the reigning government in 
Cambodia. Fighting continued for the following weeks as Hun 
Sen's forces fought FUNCINPEC's forces. Several U.S. citizens 
were held-up in hotels and residences throughout Phnom Penh, 
although no Americans appear to have been the intended target 
of any violence.
    Unconfirmed reports from Cambodia indicate that ``Brazil'' 
escaped during the early July 1997 coup. His present 
whereabouts are unknown to FBI.
    On July 14, 1997, the ICA received from Legat Bangkok a 4x6 
photograph obtained from Phnom Penh RSO that was purported to 
be ``Brazil.'' The ICA's review of the photo and comparison 
with a previously obtained photo on FBI subject #2, whom six 
witnesses identified as one of the grenade-throwers, revealed 
that the individuals in the two photos demonstrated no 
similarities of physical resemblance.
    On June 4, l998, Legat Bangkok met in the U.S. Embassy 
Bangkok with Saumara Rainsy (wife of Sam Rainsy) and two 
witnesses who claimed to have information on the March 30, 1997 
attack--Chhay Vee and Chom Bon Theun (aka Chum Bun Thoeun). 
According to Chom Bon Theun, CPP party leader Heng Bon Hiang 
approached Chom Boh Theun in mid-March 1997 and asked Chom Bon 
Theun to assist in a plot to launch a grenade attack on the 
March 30 rally/demonstration. Chom Bon Theun advised Legat 
Bangkok that he (Theun) helped Hiang recruit the suspect 
``Brazil'' and personally recruited Chhay Vee. Chom Bon Theun 
also noted that six or seven months after the March 30 attack, 
he saw Brazil's corpse near a military base in Tang Kasang.
    During the June 4, 1998 interviews, Saumara claimed that 
Chhay Vee had admitted to throwing one of the grenades at the 
rally. Chhay Vee admitted to being recruited by Chom Bon Theun 
to throw grenades at the March 30 demonstration in return for 
payment. Chhay Vee also stated in the interview that Chom Bon 
Theun knew Sam Rainsy personally. Both Chhay Vee and Chom Bon 
Theun informed Legat Bangkok that they voluntarily decided to 
confess their involvement to Sam Rainsy, possibly in return for 
    On November 13, 1998, Legat Bangkok and RSO Phil Whitney, 
with the assistance of Khmer language translator Yarong Van, 
reinterviewed Chhay Vee and Chom Bon Theun. Both subjects 
advised that their previous statements were false and that 
neither had anything to do with the March 30 attack. Chom Bon 
Theun stated that Sam Rainsy Party official Eng Chhay Eang 
provided him and Chhay Vee with the story of their guilt. Eang 
wrote a script for Chom Bon Theun to memorize which was roughly 
the same story Theun provided to Legat Bangkok on June 4. Chom 
Bon Theun advised that Eang offered to him and Chhay Vee 
$15,000 each in return for telling the false story about their 
participation in the attack to the UNCHR, FBI and others.
    All investigative leads are complete. The FBI has presented 
its investigative findings to the Department of Justice for a 
prosecutive opinion.

                               APPENDIX 2



                        U.S. Department of Justice,
                           Federal Bureau of Investigation,
                                 Washington, DC, February 19, 1999.

The Honorable Jesse Helms
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations,
U. S. Senate, Washington, DC.

    Dear Mr. Chairman:

    The following are responses to your questions regarding the 
FBI's investigation in Cambodia which you raised in your letter 
of January 25, 1999, to Director Freeh. Unfortunately, due to 
the pending nature of this ongoing investigation, the FBI is 
unable to provide complete and thorough responses to your 
questions. It is our hope that at the conclusion of this 
investigative matter, either through written responses or a 
briefing, whichever you prefer, we will be able to more fully 
address the issues and concerns of the Committee.

    1) Please provide a list of the 56 witnesses interviewed in 
the course of the investigation, as well as copies of each 
interview report.

    As you are aware, witnesses often cooperate with the FBI 
with the understanding that their cooperation remains 
confidential, often due to possible threats to their safety. 
Witness statements also are potentially evidentiary or 
testimonial in nature. As this case is still a pending matter 
and possibly subject to future litigation, the forwarding of 
interview reports (FD 302s) is not appropriate at this time.

    2) Why was the Commander of the Phnom Penh Municipal Police 
Force not made available for an interview during the course of 
the investigation? Did the U.S. protest this?

    On April 4, 1997, and April 29, 1997, the case agent (CA) 
reviewed Reuters Television coverage and other videos related 
to the crime scene. These videos depicted a senior police 
officer, on scene, almost immediately after the explosions. 
This officer was later identified by Investigative Commission 
members as Colonel Mok Chito, Commander of the Phnom Penh 
Municipal Police Force, and the nephew of 2nd Prime Minister 
Hun Sen.
    On April 30, 1997, CA inquired of General Teng Savon, the 
Investigative Commission Commander, as to why Mok Chito was not 
on the Commission and that the CA wished to interview him. 
General Teng Savon stated that, ``He decides who is on the 
Investigative Commission'' and that Mok Chito was not 
available. On May 2, 1997, CA advised U.S. Ambassador Kenneth 
Quinn of this lack of cooperation, among others. Both met with 
Co-Deputy Prime Minister (CPP) Sar Kheng regarding this issue.

    3) On Page Six, there is reference to Hun Sen's ``Bodyguard 
Force'' (2nd Battalion, 17th Regiment). However, on Page Seven, 
a Bodyguard Unit #2, 17th Division is referenced. Are these one 
and the same?

    Both units are the same. The Traditional Army Regimental 
reference is 2nd Battalion, 17th Regiment. When the battalion 
was designated as Hun Sen's bodyguard unit, it was simply 
referred to as Bodyguard Unit #2. The First Prime Minister was 
protected by Bodyguard Unit #1 formerly, the 1st Battalion, 
17th Regiment.

    4) It appears as though Bodyguard Commanding General, Huy 
Pised, and the on-scene commander, Chhin Savon, were 
uncooperative in the investigation. Is this an accurate 
description of their attitudes? Who has ultimate authority over 
these troops?

    Brigadier General Huy Pised, the Commander of Unit #2 was 
moderately cooperative and made numerous gratuitous remarks to 
the CA in an attempt to establish rapport. His subordinate, 
Major Chin Savon, the on-scene troop commander during the March 
30 grenade attack, was not cooperative. Chin Savon openly 
expressed shock that the CA had obtained photos of him at the 
crime scene.
    Unit #2 can only be deployed by Hun Sen or General Huy 
Pised. This was established and recorded via FD-302. The unit 
is removed from Ministry of Defense command authority.

    5) On Page Nine, the report states that Rainsy became 
agitated when the FBI informed him that ``there were genuine 
questions about the allegations and motives of the grenade 
throwers.'' What were those questions? Was this an insinuation 
that Rainsy was somehow involved in the attack? Why is there no 
elaboration on this in the report?

    Those are not the words of the CA and do not appear in the 
report. Rainsy was informed by CA on May 22, 1997, that the 
investigation was not complete at that time; but, even if it 
were, Rainsy would not be receiving a copy of the report. It 
was politely and professionally explained to Rainsy that the CA 
had no authority to release any official documents or reports 
other than the sketch artist's drawings depicting the three 

    6) Was Brazil ever in the custody of Nhiek Bun Chhay or 
anyone else in the Cambodian government? If so, when and in 
whose custody? Why was there contradictory information about 
this in the report? Why was this matter not clarified in the 

    According to the Government of Cambodia, Brazil was in the 
custody of General Nhieh Bun Chhay in June 1997. When the 
Interior Minister ordered that he be made available for 
interview on July 1, 1997, he received a reply that Brazil had 

    7) How did Brazil escape Phnom Penh in July 1997? Are his 
present whereabouts known? Do we assume his escape was 
facilitated by anyone? If so, who?

    Brazil's whereabouts are unknown and no further information 
is available regarding details of the escape.

    8) Did the FBI, or anyone in or affiliated with the U.S. 
Government, ever interview Brazil? If so, who and when?

    Brazil was never interviewed.

    9) Did the FBI, or anyone in or affiliated with the U.S. 
Government, ever receive a videotape and/or other documents of 
or pertaining to Brazil?

    The FBI received a photograph, videotape, and purported 
statement by Brazil to the Ministry of Interior.

    10) The report ends with a charge that Sam Rainsy's party 
paid Chhay Vee and Chom Bon Theun to confess to the crime. 
Coming as it does at the end of the report, the reader is left 
with the impression that the FBI believes this charge. Is that 
indeed the case? If so, it is important that you provide the 
committee with the evidence of this.

    No conclusions have been made concerning this issue.

    11) Why does the report make no attempt to substantiate or 
refute this claim?

    Attempts are currently being made to determine the veracity 
of those individuals.

    12) Where did the November 13, reinterview with Chhay Vee 
and Chom Bon Theun take place?

    The interview took place in the private home of Om 
Yentieng, advisor to Hun Sen.

    13) Is it true that Chhay Vee and Chom Bon Theun had been 
arrested in August 1998 by the Hun Sen-controlled Cambodian 
police? If so, why was this not mentioned in the report?

    An article in the Cambodia Daily dated August 31, 1998, 
reported that Chhay Vy was in police custody. This article was 
provided by Congressman Rohrabacher's office and not deemed 
relevant to the report as Vy was interviewed on November 13, 
1998, and provided no details regarding his alleged detainment.

    14) Why did the FBI reinterview these two suspects on 
November 13? What specific information came to light in the 
intervening months? How did that information come to the FBI's 

    The two individuals were interviewed based on the newspaper 
article mentioned above. Additionally, the time allotted for 
the first interview was severely limited at the insistence of 
Samura Rainsy. There was not sufficient time to ask follow-up 
questions in order to verify their story. Since the first 
interview the witnesses recanted their prior statement. There 
was interest in following-up on their statements. Also, the 
Cambodian Ministry of Interior (MOI) issued a statement dated 
8/29/98, indicating that the witnesses had changed their story.

    15) Who was (were) the case officer(s) who conducted the 

    There were a number of FBI personnel involved in this 
investigation. Their identities are confidential.

    16) Who drafted the report? At what level within the FBI 
was the report approved? Were other agencies of the federal 
government involved in drafting, reviewing or approving the 
report? If so, which agencies and which officials?

    The report is a summary of the investigation that was 
prepared by an analytical unit at FBIHQ. The report was 
approved by an FBI Assistant Director and provided to Congress 
as requested in the ``1998 Foreign Operations Appropriation 
Act.'' No other agencies were involved.

    17) At what level within the FBI were the parameters of the 
investigation set? For instance, who in the FBI was involved in 
deciding who should or should not be interviewed, authorizing 
those interviews, and deciding whether or not agents should 
leave or return to Cambodia?

    Depending on the circumstances and facts surrounding a 
case, the parameters of any investigation are set by the CA in 
consultation with field office supervisory staff, FBIHQ, the 
United States Attorney's Office, and others. In addition, 
overseas investigations are further coordinated with the 
Ambassador in country who has the ultimate authority to allow 
Agents country clearance to conduct investigations in country.

    18) To what extent were the State Department and the 
National Security Council involved in setting the parameters of 
the investigation? Were any State or NSC officials involved in 
deciding who should or should not be interviewed, authorizing 
those interviews, or deciding whether or not agents should 
leave or return to Cambodia? If so, which individuals?

    The State Department and National Security Council do not 
set parameters for FBI investigations. However, as mentioned 
above, extraterritorial investigations are often coordinated 
with the Ambassador in country. Ambassador Quinn was consulted 
with and wished to be kept apprised of developments regarding 
this investigation which is his prerogative.

    19) According to a Cambodian government report from May, 
1997, several eyewitness claimed that several hours after the 
attack, two men who looked like suspects were seen boarding a 
helicopter with Kun Kim, the Vice-Governor of Kandal Province. 
They were earlier seen near the helicopter landing site in a 
vehicle with Him Bun Heang, an assistant to General Huy Pised. 
Why is this apparently relevant information not in the report?

    On May 28, 1997, the CA addressed this issue with the 
Investigative Commander Teng Savon. Savon informed the CA that 
this persistent rumor regarding the two alleged suspects being 
flown in the Cambodian helicopter was simply not true. 
Investigation related to the helicopter was conducted by an 
Agent and reflected in his report.

    20) According to the same Cambodian government report, the 
FBI agent in charge was quoted as saying ``Those men who threw 
the grenades are not ordinary people. They are Hun Sen's 
soldiers.'' He substantiated this claim by pointing out that 
the perpetrators escaped into the nearby CPP compound, abetted 
by guards who opened the gate for them and who then denied 
seeing anything. Was this an accurate quote of the FBI agent in 
charge? Who does the FBI now believe to be the prime suspect(s) 
in this case? Who does the FBI believe ultimately to be behind 
the attack?

    According to press reports, a plethora of false, 
inflammatory, and classified information was released by police 
officers who were members of the Investigative Commission to 
the press. The Commission was composed of officers representing 
two opposing political parties. Partisan politics obviously 
influenced the motivations of local officials and officers. The 
FBI often in extraterritorial investigations finds that 
political motivations influence sources of information provided 
to law enforcement or to the media. The task of ascertaining 
the veracity of sources of contradictory information is often 
difficult in these investigations.
    The remark was never made by the Case Agent. An accurate 
description of the conversation of May 22, 1997, between Rainsy 
and the CA is transcribed in the investigative file. As this 
case is still a pending matter, the current available facts do 
not warrant speculation as to who is responsible.

    We understand the Committee's interest in this case, and we 
will keep you and your staff advised should there be any new 
            Sincerely yours,
                                 Neil J. Gallagher,
                                        Assistant Director,
                                        National Security Division.

                               APPENDIX 3


                        CAMBODIAN POLICE REPORT