WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 5 -- A $550,000-per-year foreign agent for Cambodian dictator Hun Sen has been playing a major role in the U.S. presidential contest. Hun Sen became the unchallenged strongman of Cambodia after a 1997 coup that put the military and judiciary in the hands of Hun Sen loyalists.

A Wall Street Journal article reported that Richard Hines had registered as a foreign agent with the U.S. Justice Department and had financed the Keep It Flying PAC which sent a last-minute direct mail piece against Senator John McCain in the South Carolina primary.

The semiannual filing of Hines with the Justice Department listed no such political activity, as required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act. To willfully fail to list such a ctivity can bring a $10,000 fine and five years in jail.

Senator McCain is quoted in the article as saying, "It is the ultimate irony that a regime that has destroyed the democratic process in that poor country is now funding a foreign agent who c ontributed in a major way to the seminal defeat of my presidential campaign."

Hines also has major contacts with the Gore campaign. His lawyer is Stanley Brand, a prominent Gore supporter who also represents the International Brotherhood of Teams ters, a major contributor to the Gore campaign.

Fox Television News reported that a contribution was made to the Friends of Al Gore, Jr. The contribution listed in the Federal Election Commission records is under the name of the Confederate Memor ial Committee with an Alexandria, Virginia address. The address was that of Richard Hines.

In the Fox Television interview, John Edward Hurley, president of the Confederate Memorial Association, said that the Confederate Memorial Committee had se t up a political slush fund. Hurley later reported that the fund was also used by Hines in a 13-year legal assault on his organization that is scheduled for a jury trial in D.C. Superior Court on Abraham Lincoln's birthday, February 12.

The litig ation forced the closing of the century-old Confederate Memorial Hall museum and library in downtown D.C.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT... Robert Hughes -- (703) 527-0237