Home > Local News > Lawyers gather data to defend Veera, Ratri

Lawyers gather data to defend Veera, Ratri

A team of lawyers for the Thai Patriots Network went to the border
area in Sa Kaew province yesterday to collect information for the
defence of two Thai nationals facing trespassing and spying charges in
Cambodia.

The eight-member group, led by Thammasat University researcher and
TPN leader Walwipha Charoonroj, inspected the area in Ban Nong Chan of
Sa Kaew’s Khok Sung district where seven Thais were arrested by
Cambodian authorities in December.
The legal team was guided by members of the Burapha Force’s special
taskforce in an operation led by deputy commander Lt-Colonel Apiram
Ramanat.
Walwipha said the team had submitted a written request with Prime
Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and had sought permission from Cambodian
authorities to inspect the area. She said the information and facts
obtained would be used to defend TPN leader Veera Somkwamkid and Ratri
Pipattanapaiboon in court, which has scheduled the first hearing for
Tuesday. The two face the additional charge of espionage.
The five other Thais who were arrested for trespassing, including
Democrat MP Panich Vikitsreth, recently returned home after being
sentenced to a suspended jail term in Cambodia.
The TPN is part of the yellow-shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy,
which is rallying outside Government House to demand decisive action
about the border conflict with Cambodia.
Before Walwipha’s group arrived, Ban Nong Chan residents expressed
dissatisfaction for fear the yellow shirts would stage a protest, which
would further complicate the situation in the border area. However,
they did not show much opposition after being told by the taskforce
that the lawyers’ group would be small and that they were only visiting
to collect information.
In a related development, Cambodian forces stationed at the border
area near the Preah Vihear temple are in two minds about bringing down
the Cambodian flag raised at another temple in the disputed area, a
security source said yesterday.
Cambodian military commanders General Chea Dara and Maj-General Srey
Doek agree with Thailand’s demand that the flag raised at Wat Keo Sekha
Kirisvara be taken down, while other commanders disagreed, the source
said.
Hundreds of Cambodian troops – stationed since the controversy over
a stone tablet in which Thai troops were called “intruders” and the
disputed area marked as “Here is Cambodia” – are still in place along
with heavy weaponry and some 30 tanks.
The source described the border situation as being tense, though no serious incidents have taken place.

The Nation

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Categories: Local News
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