Sunday, 27 March 2011

Inability to deport 'undesirable' illegals frustrates U.S.

Dung Le

via CAAI

By Rich Cholodofsky
Sunday, March 27, 2011

Convicted killer Loeun Heng walked out of a Massachusetts detention center a free man last fall.

The illegal alien from Cambodia was supposed to be deported after serving almost a decade in prison for killing a 16-year-old boy in a Boston suburb.

But Cambodia is among several countries that won't take their citizens back when the United States wants to jettison them.

Officials from Immigration and Custom Enforcement, or ICE, detained Heng for six months as they tried to ship him out.

They failed.

Since 2008, ICE has been forced to release 1,741 illegal immigrants because their home countries would not allow deportation, said Harold Ort, an ICE spokesman in Newark.

Heng, 26, and three other men in the Blood Red Dragons gang attacked, stabbed and beat 16-year-old Charles Ashton Cline-McMurray in Revere, Mass., on Oct 13, 2000. Prosecutors worry ICE won't be able to deport the other killers when they get out of prison.

In the wake of Heng's release, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on the immigration issue.

Mark Krikorian, executive director for the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington-based think tank, said U.S. policy is being dictated by unfriendly, uncooperative foreign governments — such as Cuba, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos — that continuously refuse to allow their undesirable citizens to be deported.

The U.S. House Immigration Reform Caucus is examining the issue.

"How many more innocent people have to die because of these failed policies? What part of illegal don't people understand?" said U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-California, who chairs the reform caucus.

"Illegal immigrants should be kept behind bars until they are deported. A deputy sheriff was killed last year in my region by an illegal alien who slipped through our system. We must fight to ensure that criminal aliens are not released into the public," Bilbray said.

A local member of the reform caucus, U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire, D-McCandless, declined comment after repeated requests for an interview.

"It's disappointing and frustrating that federal authorities have been unable to deport Loeun Heng. Our understanding is that ICE took every possible step in this case, but circumstances like Heng's really erode public confidence in the system," said Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Don Conley.

Last month, as he was being led from a Westmoreland County courtroom, a convicted sex offender from Vietnam told his lawyer that he will never be deported.

Dung Le, 40, pleaded guilty to failing to register on time as a sex offender in Pennsylvania. He was sentenced to one to five years in prison.

"He's of the opinion he won't be deported," defense attorney Patricia Elliott said.

Le might be right.

In 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered that immigration detainees must be released from custody if they cannot be deported within six months.

That ruling centered on German national Kestutis Zadvydas, a cocaine dealer imprisoned for 16 years. In 1994, immigration officials tried to deport him to Germany and then Lithuania, his parents' country of origin. Neither country wanted him.

By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled the United States had to release Zadvydas from custody, saying it was unlikely he would ever be deported.

Ort said ICE is forced to release illegal aliens if they are unable to deport them within the 180-day period. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, they can ignore that requirement under very limited circumstances, "including a threat to national security, adverse foreign policy consequences or contagious disease concerns."

"There has been a lax attitude toward enforcement," said Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform in Washington. "We no longer have a choice. We as a matter of law should be in control of our own immigration policy."

Krikorian said Congress needs to change immigration law to close the loophole left open by the Supreme Court. "Congress needs to push back. We need to make sure that countries that don't take people back know we're not going to issue entrance visas to their citizens," Krikorian said.

Le might slip through the loophole.

Le came last year to work at a Rostraver nail salon. He legally entered the United States in 1993, according to ICE records. In 2004, he was convicted in Vermont of a felony count of lewd and lascivious behavior for improperly touching a woman at a nail salon where he worked. He served about one year in a Vermont jail and then left the United States, ICE said.

Ort said Le tried to return through Honolulu International Airport on Oct. 15, 2005, when he applied for admission back into the country. Le was ordered to appear before an immigration judge.

U.S. Immigration Judge Dayna Beamer in Honolulu ordered that Le be deported back to Vietnam. He was released in 2006 when immigration officials could not do so.

Le resurfaced in Rostraver and was arrested after he was late in registering as a sex offender with Pennsylvania State Police.

"Every alien's removal requires the cooperation of another country. Thus, the difficulties involved in deporting aliens with final orders of removal are not unique to Mr. Le's case. In fact, some countries flatly refuse to accept their nationals back into their communities, while others might simply prolong and delay the issuance of the necessary travel documents for repatriation," Ort said.

It is believed convicted killer Heng is living somewhere near Boston. Local officials are concerned about two other defendants who pleaded guilty in the gang slaying, two more illegal aliens who would be subject to deportation upon release.

Viseth Sao pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison, but he is eligible for parole in 2016.

Savoeun Heng, 26, and Savoeun Po, 26, pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Savoeun Heng received a 12- to 14-year sentence. Po was sentenced to eight to 10 years.

ICE will try to deport Savoeun Heng and Savoeun Po upon their release.

North Wales Police will question Cambodia orphanage paedophile Nick Griffin over rape claim

via CAAI

by Darren Devine, Wales On Sunday
Mar 27 2011

A LIFELONG friend of paedophile Nick Griffin has told Wales on Sunday she became suspicious after he took a teenage boy who has since accused him of rape on a camping trip alone.

Janet De Selincourt allowed Griffin to live on the trout farm she one ran in North Wales and spoke out after we revealed the teenager’s allegations last week.

Following our exclusive story, North Wales Police have also promised to quiz Griffin, 53, about the alleged two-year campaign of abuse against a teenager in the Llangollen area when he is released from jail in Cambodia.

The orphanage-founder is serving a year behind bars for abusing boys younger than 15 at his charity institution in South East Asia.

Mrs De Selincourt, 69, admitted that despite her suspicions about Griffin she has written to him in Cambodia and will stand by him because “a friend is a friend”.

She said: “I know he’s been convicted, but I find it very difficult to believe what I’ve heard.

“I did write to him. I sent a letter to the British Embassy in Cambodia and enclosed a birthday card for him.

“In the birthday card I said: ‘We’re with you all the way whatever.’ A friend is a friend regardless.”

Mrs De Selincourt has known Griffin since the mid 1980s when he became her lodger in Addlestone, Surrey.

In the early 1990s Griffin went to live in Shepherd’s Bush, London, where he set up his own business and employed Mrs De Selincourt’s daughter.

In 1996 Mrs De Selincourt came to Glyn Ceiriog, near Llangollen, to run the Upper Mill’s trout farm. About two years later Griffin joined her in North Wales, from where he ran the Ives Management Services property firm, met his alleged Welsh victim and became a scout leader.

The alleged victim last week told Wales on Sunday Griffin wormed his way into his confidence for two years before abusing him for two years between the ages of 13 and 15. The man, who is now 23, has since been convicted of possessing child porn and is on the sex offenders’ register.

But Mrs De Selincourt said despite her unease over the camping trip she is certain the alleged victim was never abused at the trout farm.

She said: “There was nothing going on at the house – I can guarantee that.

“There was one occasion when I sort of didn’t like the idea that Nick had gone camping (with the boy). But I wasn’t (the boy’s) mother. His mother and father were the people who had the say.”

When the police began looking into the allegation in 2009 she told them the alleged victim slept on the floor in Griffin’s room only once at the trout farm.

The alleged victim told WoS last week he originally complained to police about the abuse in 2004, but his allegation was not properly investigated.

A spokesperson for the force confirmed they had been investigating since 2009, but said there was no record of a complaint going back to 2004.

Detective Inspector Arwyn Jones said they hoped to arrest and interview Griffin once he is released from his Cambodian jail.

The pervert will be thrown out of the country he left for in 2006 once he is released in about 12 months’ time.

Cops here will immediately arrest him if he returns to the UK or goes to a country with which there is an extradition treaty in place.

Mr Arwyn Jones said the force had been in regular contact with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOPS) throughout the investigation.

North Wales Police put Griffin on the police national computer as a wanted man before being told by CEOPS he was under investigation in South East Asia.

Mr Arwyn Jones added: “The enquiry will be pursued and brought to a conclusion once Griffin is released from custody.”

Sihanoukville to list

via CAAI

26 Mar 2011

SBI Phnom Penh Securities Co, Ltd. has been appointed by the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Cambodia to lead manage an initial public offering of Cambodia's state-owned Sihanoukville Autonomous Port ("PAS"), the company said in a press release.

The IPO will be launched when the stock exchange becomes operational, expected to be this summer. It is the first time a Japanese-backed company has been involved in a Cambodian IPO.
As a lead managing underwriter for the IPO, SBI will contribute to the growth of the Cambodian capital market through assisting PAS in its listing, and will also conduct sales of the underwritten stocks in Japan in conjunction with subsidiary SBI Securities Co, the company added.

With a gross throughput of 1.87m tonnes, Sihanoukville's main business is defined as the development and management of Sihanoukville's Special Economic Zone which includes Cambodia's only deepwater international port. The port is one of three major state companies that the government is planning to list, reportedly in the course of this year.

The SBI Group established the Phnom Penh Commercial Bank Limited in September 2008 with its investment of 40% of the bank’s shares, and will now endeavor to contribute to Cambodia’s economic development in both the banking and securities sectors. The SBI Group will continue the overseas development of its financial service businesses, primarily in the Asian emerging countries.

Former Khmer Rouge prison chief seeks acquittal

via CAAI

Sat, Mar 26, 2011

PHNOM PENH - Cambodia’s war crimes court will hear appeals next week in the case of of former Khmer Rouge cadre Duch, who is seeking acquittal despite admitting running a feared jail where thousands died.

Duch, 68, was sentenced to 35 years in prison last July for war crimes and crimes against humanity for overseeing the deaths of 15,000 people at the notorious torture prison Tuol Sleng in the late 1970s.

The jailer, whose real name is Kaing Guek Eav, was the first former Khmer Rouge cadre to face an international tribunal.

His sentence was reduced to 30 years on the grounds that he had been detained illegally for years. And given time already served, Duch could walk free in less than 19 years, much to the dismay of many victims of the brutal 1975-1979 regime.

Prosecutors are also appealing, hoping to have Duch’s sentence increased to life, to be commuted to 45 years for time served in unlawful detention.

During his trial, Duch repeatedly apologised for overseeing mass murder at the detention centre, also known as S-21, but shocked the court by asking to be acquitted in his closing statement in November 2009.

The defence team will claim in their appeal on Monday that the UN-backed court has no jurisdiction over Duch because he was not one of the regime’s senior leaders nor one of those most responsible for the crimes committed.

“The court is not allowed to try a person that does not fall into one of those two groups", Kang Ritheary, one of Duch’s lawyers, told AFP, adding that Duch was only following orders.

“He had to try his best at work in order to save his life.”

Anne Heindel, a legal adviser at the Documentation Centre of Cambodia, which collects evidence of Khmer Rouge atrocities, said the defence strategy was “reckless” because the court “has wide discretion in determining whom to prosecute”.

“Instead of responding to the prosecution’s multiple arguments for a longer sentence, the defence keeps reiterating this one untimely and uncompelling argument,” Heindel said.

Prosecutors say in their appeal brief that the verdict did “not adequately reflect the seriousness of the crimes or the respondent’s role in those crimes”.

They also want enslavement, imprisonment, torture, extermination and other inhumane acts to be added to Duch’s list of convictions.

The tribunal’s Supreme Court Chamber is expected to announce its ruling on the appeals in late June.

Chum Mey, 80, one of the few survivors of S-21, said “there would be no justice” if Duch is released and he should be jailed for life.

Led by “Brother Number One” Pol Pot, who died in 1998, the Khmer Rouge wiped out nearly a quarter of Cambodia’s population through starvation, overwork and execution.

S-21, in Phnom Penh, was at the centre of the regime’s security apparatus and thousands of inmates were taken from there for execution in a nearby orchard.

Duch has been detained since 1999, when he was found working as a Christian aid worker in the jungle. He was formally arrested by the tribunal in July 2007.

Four of the regime’s most senior surviving members are due to go on trial later this year and Duch is expected to appear as a witness.

The tribunal, dogged by allegations of political interference, has yet to announce whether it will pursue two more cases against five more former Khmer Rouge cadres.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, himself a mid-level cadre before he turned against the movement, said late last year no new trials would be allowed.

But observers say Duch’s court proceedings were free from political pressure, even though one of his lawyers has also acted for the premier.

Former Khmer Rouge prison chief seeks acquittal

via CAAI

Mar 26, 2011

PHNOM PENH - CAMBODIA'S war crimes court will hear appeals next week in the case of of former Khmer Rouge cadre Duch, who is seeking acquittal despite admitting running a feared jail where thousands died.

Duch, 68, was sentenced to 35 years in prison last July for war crimes and crimes against humanity for overseeing the deaths of 15,000 people at the notorious torture prison Tuol Sleng in the late 1970s.

The jailer, whose real name is Kaing Guek Eav, was the first former Khmer Rouge cadre to face an international tribunal.

His sentence was reduced to 30 years on the grounds that he had been detained illegally for years. And given time already served, Duch could walk free in less than 19 years, much to the dismay of many victims of the brutal 1975-1979 regime.

Prosecutors are also appealing, hoping to have Duch's sentence increased to life, to be commuted to 45 years for time served in unlawful detention.

During his trial, Duch repeatedly apologised for overseeing mass murder at the detention centre, also known as S-21, but shocked the court by asking to be acquitted in his closing statement in November 2009. -- AFP

Answers sought over death of NZer in Cambodia

via CAAI

A New Zealand man has returned to Cambodia to seek answers about his brother's death from the Khmer Rouge leader responsible.

Kerry Hamill was tortured and killed at the Phnom Penh prison run by Kaing Guek Eav, also known as 'Comrade Duch', in 1978.

Duch was sentenced to 35 years in prison last year for overseeing the deaths of up to 15,000 people in the 1970s.

Rob Hamill wants to know where his brother is buried.

He says 'Duch' is seeking a pardon, while prosecutors are calling for a longer sentence. He will make another request for an interview once legal arguments have finished.

Cambodia to see more participation in Earth Hour event

via CAAI

PHNOM PENH, Mar 26, 2011 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Some eighty businesses, and groups of individuals in Cambodia switched off their lights and electrical devices for an hour, starting at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday to celebrate "Earth Hour".

About 80 hotels, restaurants and shopping malls in the capital, including Hotel Cambodiana, Hotel Le Royal and Hotel Inter- Continental, as well as many individuals from across Cambodia have turned off their lights or partly turned off their lights for one hour to celebrate their action in protecting the environment.

"We have turned off the lights and lit candles instead during the Earth Hour, let the guests enjoy the unique atmosphere of romance, they feel very happy," a manager of Hotel Le Royal said.

Earth Hour is the world's largest environmental movement which encourages individuals, businesses and communities around the world to turn off their lights for one hour on March 26 at 8.30 p. m. local time in a bid to raise awareness about climate change.

Seng Teak, WWF-Cambodia's director, said Saturday that this is the second year that WWF has encouraged people in Cambodia to participate in this international event.

"It's still few participants, but it has doubled the number in 2010's event and I believe that year by year, more people will be aware of it and there will be more participation," he said.

WWF-Cambodia has assumed two Cambodian famous actors Yuthara Chhany and Tep Rindaro as the Earth Hour Ambassadors.

"Action for earth of these legendary actors will be a great example and will influence fans, families and friends to join forces with the rest of the world in the celebration of one thing that unites all of us -- the planet," he said.

Yuthara Chhany said, "The planet is ours and we can do our part to protect it, make your action for our only planet with the rest of the world."

"As individuals, we can do our own part to reduce the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere and take action on climate change for 365 days," he added.

The event was launched in 2007 in Sydney, Australia.

In 2010, hundreds of millions of people, in 128 countries and territories across the world, took part in the event.

Mekong countries to have extra meeting for controversial Xayaburi dam

via CAAI

Saturday ,Mar 26,2011

Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand have agreed to convene a special session on the prior consultation process for Laos’ controversial proposed Xayaburi hydropower dam on the Mekong River before determining how they should proceed with the proposal, the Mekong River Commission announced Friday.

The four Lower Mekong Basin countries reached this decision at the 33rd MRC Joint Committee Meeting in Cambodia’s Preah Sihanouk Province on Mar. 24-26.

They agreed that they would join with the intent to seek a conclusion at the newly-scheduled meeting on April 21, 2011, said the MRC – the inter-governmental body responsible for cooperation on the sustainable management of the Mekong Basin.

The Xayaburi project, proposed by the Lao Government, falls under the MRC’s Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement (PNPCA) process, which require the four countries come together with the aim of reaching a conclusion on the proposal within six months of its submission. The deadline for the end of this formal process is April 22, 2011.

A picture shows the location of the proposed Xayaburi dam

The Xayaburi project, designed to generate power for consumption in Thailand and Laos, is tabled for consideration, among other management, organizational and procedures-related matters, at this internal meeting.

The Joint Committee Members, comprising one senior official from each of the four countries, agree to hold a special joint committee meeting in Laos’ Vientiane to come to a conclusion on the project, according to the MRC.

Since the notification of what would be the first dam project on the mainstream of the Lower Mekong River, the countries have conducted national consultations with related stakeholders including potentially affected communities, to gauge their views and perspectives on the project.

The MRC Secretariat – the operational arm of the MRC – also commissioned a team of experts in several sectors including fisheries, sediment and dam safety design to review documents including the Environmental Impact Assessment submitted by the Lao Government to other MRC countries.

The Secretariat acts as a facilitating body for the prior consultation process.

Friday’s MRC statement said the JC Members also agreed to disclose to the public the MRC technical review which has been used by the four countries as part of their consideration of the Xayaburi project.

MRC added that the report was presented at the meeting Saturday in Preah Sihanouk Province but the member countries have not provided their official comments on it yet. Laos, as the notifying country, commented that the report is a valuable contribution to the process of considering the Xayaburi project as well as other similar development initiatives but will provide its detailed comments at a later time.

The Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement state that member countries must notify the MRC’s Joint Committee in the event they wish to engage in any major infrastructure developments, such as hydropower schemes, on the mainstream Mekong or tributaries, particularly as those developments may have significant trans-boundary impacts on people or the environment downstream.

The Xayaburi hydropower project would be the first such project on the Mekong mainstream downstream of China and would be capable of generating 1260 megawatts of electricity, mainly for export to Thailand.

The Xayaburi dam is located about 150 km downstream of Luang Prabang City in northern Laos. The dam has an installed capacity of 1,260 megawatts with a dam 810 m long and 32 m high and has a reservoir area of 49 km2 and live storage of 1,300 cubic metres. The developer is Ch. Karnchang Public Co. Ltd. of Thailand.

There are concerns that Xayaburi Province might be hit by an earthquake.

AFP - A picture taken on March 25, 2011 in the area of Myanmar's northeastern city of Tachilek shows large cracks running along a road a day after an earthquake struck the area.

On the Mar. 24 night, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck in the east of Myanmar near the borders with Thailand and Laos and was felt as far away as the Vietnamese capital Hanoi. The powerful earthquake killed 74 people in Myanmar and one in Thailand, according to officials from the two countries.

By Tuong Thuy

UK Appoints Openly Gay Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia

Mark Gooding, appointed this week British Ambassador to Cambodia.
photo courtesy Foriegn and Commonwealth Office, London

via CAAI

LONDON, March 25, 2011 – Mark Gooding has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, it was announced yesterday.

Currently Mr. Gooding is Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives in Colombo and is due to take up his new appointment in September.

He is openly gay and has a civil partner, Dr Christopher McCormick.

“I am honoured and delighted to be appointed HM Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia,” he said in a press statement.

“The UK and Cambodia have strong shared interests in a variety of fields, including trade, development, tourism, climate change, security, and human rights. I look forward to developing further the strong ties that already exist between our two countries and to creating new partnerships in the years ahead.”

Generally speaking, Cambodia – a predominantly Buddhist country – accepts homosexuality.

The highly-regarded King Sihanouk famously said in 2004 that he supported gay marriage. But Cambodia is not an ‘absolute monarchy’ and the King has no executive powers.

And three years later Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen publicly announced at a graduation ceremony attended by almost 3,000 people, that his youngest, and adopted, daughter Malis was a lesbian – and that had disowned her. However, in the same speech he asked Cambodians to accept homosexuals.

A Gay Pride has been staged in the capital Phnom Penh every year since 2004, and is usually held to coincide with International Day Against Homophobia. This year, Phnom Penh Pride is between May 10 and 17.