Home > Local News > Cambodian court sentences 2 Thais to 8 and 6 years for spying

Cambodian court sentences 2 Thais to 8 and 6 years for spying

Ratree Pipatanapaiboon and Veera Somkwamkid
PHNOM PENH, Feb. 1 (AP) – (Kyodo)—A Cambodian court convicted two Thai activists Tuesday on
charges of espionage, illegal entry and trespass into a Cambodian
military zone.

Veera Somkwankid, secretary general of the People’s Network Against
Corruption and an activist in the Thailand Patriot Network, was
sentenced to eight years in prison and fined 1.8 million riels ($450).

His secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon was given six years in jail and a
1.2 million riel fine. Suos Sam Ath, presiding judge at Phnom Penh
Municipal Court, handed down the verdicts and sentences after a one-
day hearing Monday.

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The pair sentenced Tuesday and five other Thai citizens, including
Thai Democrat Party parliamentarian Panich Vikitsreth, were arrested
Dec. 29 last year for entry into what they claim is an area disputed
between Cambodia and Thailand.

The Cambodian courts rejected that claim and five of the Thais were
sentenced last month to nine months in jail for illegal entry and
trespassing into a military zone.

Their sentences were suspended and they were allowed to return to
Thailand the next day.

They were each fined 1 million riel.

The judge made no comment on whether Veera or Ratree may be sent back
to Thailand.

On the Cambodian-Thai border near the World Heritage Preah Vihear
temple, a flashpoint between Thailand and Cambodia for more than two
years, the situation has heated up again with Thailand planning a
military exercise near the area and claiming a Cambodian flag and
pagoda in the area are on disputed land.

Late Monday, the Thai foreign ministry issued a statement demanding
Cambodia remove the Keo Sikha Kiri Svara Pagoda and the flag flying
over the pagoda from the area adjacent to Cambodia’s Preah Vihear
temple.

The Thai statement claimed the pagoda built by Cambodia in 1998 “is
situated on Thai territory.”

Cambodia rejected the claim Tuesday.

“The Keo Sikha Kiri Svara Pagoda is legally well situated in Cambodian
territory and by no means will Cambodia relocate this pagoda elsewhere
and Cambodia will continue to fly its flags there,” Cambodia’s foreign
ministry said.

Military sources at the border said the situation is quite tense as
both sides have reinforced their positions with more troops and
weapons, including tanks and armored personnel vehicles, since the
weekend.

Breitbart.com

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Categories: Local News
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