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Thai five denied bail

Veera Somkwamkid (centred left) and Panich Vikitsreth (centred right)
The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has rejected a
request for bail for the five other Thais still in detention at Prey
Sar prison, Information Department director-general Thani Thongpakdi
said on Friday.
Mr Thani, citing a report from the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh, said
the defence lawyers immediately filed an appeal. The result was
expected next week, he said.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on
Thursday allowed conditional bail for two of the Thais – Democrat MP
Panich Vikitsreth and Narumol Chatvaratana – prompting hope that at
least three others would also be released.

Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said after the two were released that three more Thais were expected to be freed on bail today.

Bangkok Post
However, the same Phnom Penh court today denied bail for all five
still being detained at Prey Sar prison, without giving any reasons 
They are Thai Patriots Network (TPN) coordinator Veera Somkwamkid, his
secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon, Samdin Lertbutr, Tainae Mungmajon and
Mr Panich’s aide Kitchaponthorn Chusanasevin.

The Cambodian
court gave permission for Karun Saingam, a lawyer of the Thai Patriots
Network, to visit the five at the prison. The date and time for the
visit had yet to be fixed.

Mr Thani said he believed the court
granted bail for Mr Panich and Ms Narumol for health and humanitarian
reasons. He said Mr Panich suffered from high blood pressure and Ms
Narumol had a thyroid problem.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva
had been informed of the court’s decision today,  Mr Kasit’s secretary
Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said.

Members of the TPN, a splinter
group of the yellow-shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy, continued to
rally at gate No 4 of Government House on Phitsanulok road on
Friday, pressuring the government to do more  to help the seven Thais,
who were arrested by Cambodian soldiers on Dec 29.

Core members of the Thai Patriots Network held a rally outside
Government House on Jan 13, demandning the government to help the seven
Thais in Phnom Penh.
The seven have been charged with trespassing on Cambodian territory
and intruding into a military zone on Dec 29. Mr Veera and Ms Ratree
have also been charged with spying. Mr Veera was previously arrested
by Cambodian officials and charged with illegal entry.

TPN core
members were still undecided whether to move their protest to
Aranyaprathet district in Sa Kaeo province  in the hope of forcing the
closeure  of the Khlong Luek-Poi Pet checkpoint, a vital commercial
entry point for Cambodian and Thai traders, and for Thai gambers
heading to the Poipet casinos.

Interior Minister Chavarat
Charnvirakul said he had ordered the Sa Kaeo governor to be on the
alert.  He urged the TPN to call off any plan to move to Sa Kaeo,
saying it could affect efforts being made to get the other Thais freed.

Nearby Sa Kaeo residents are also vocally opposed to the closure of the border.
The New Politics Party called on the government to revoke the
memorandum of understanding on the border signed by Thailand and
Cambodia in 2000 and to press Cambodia to release the five Thais.

Representatives
of the New Politics Party, founded by the yellow-shirt PAD, went to
Government House to submit a letter to Mr Abhisit this morning.

They
demanded the government revoke the 2000 MoU on the Thai-Cambodian
border and the Thai-Cambodian Joint Border Commission, as they believed
Cambodia violated Thai sovereignty.

They wanted the Cambodian government free all seven arrested Thais unconditionally.


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