Cambodia said on Wednesday that it needed evidence from China before it would extradite a detained French architect with ties to disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai.
"In Cambodia he did not commit any wrongdoing," interior ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak told AFP following the arrest of Patrick Devillers in Phnom Penh earlier this month. "If there is no clear evidence he will be freed."
Devillers, a 52-year-old architect, was detained earlier this month for committing unspecified offences in China, police said.
He is understood to have been a close business associate and friend of Bo and his wife Gu Kailai and the arrest -- the latest twist in China's biggest political scandal in decades -- is now turning into a diplomatic tussle.
France on Wednesday warned Cambodia not to take any action without a clear legal basis, while the Chinese foreign ministry refused to confirm or deny that Beijing had made the extradition request.
China and Cambodia have an extradition treaty but Khieu Sopheak said no decision had been made about the Frenchman, adding that Cambodia was also consulting French authorities on the matter.
"We are waiting for evidence from the party that requested his arrest... We need evidence from China," he said. "We can hold him for 60 days."
Bo, the former leader of the southwestern Chinese megacity of Chongqing, is being probed for corruption while Gu has been detained for suspected involvement in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood last year.
The scandal surrounding Bo and Gu, which first came to light in February and made worldwide headlines, has exposed deep divisions within the Communist Party ahead of a crucial, once-in-a-decade leadership transition, analysts say.