Home > Local News > Thai Patriots Network sacks legal advisor for Veera, Ratree

Thai Patriots Network sacks legal advisor for Veera, Ratree

BANGKOK, Feb 18 — The Thai Patriots Network (TPN) has sacked
Nathaporn Toprayoon as its legal advisor overseeing the cases of two
Thais –Veera Somkwamkid, a key network activist and his secretary
Ratree Pipattanapaiboon, both jailed in Cambodia–and network
representatives will visit them in prison to ask for their final
decision on appeal attempt, according to leading TPN activist Chaiwat
Sinsuwong.

Mr Nathaporn said Thursday that he has received a request from the
families of Mr Veera, network coordinator, and Ms Ratree, asking the
network to drop the plan to appeal their cases and submit a request
seeking an intervention from international organisations in the case.

He said their families were worried about their living circumstances in
the Cambodian prison and wanted them back to Thailand as soon as
possible so that they would ask the Thai government to seek a royal
pardon from the Cambodian king.

Mr Chaiwat said his group had not yet  been told by the prisoners’
families that the two would not appeal their verdicts and would seek a
royal pardon from the Cambodian king instead.

TPN members have not yet met the two, but will stick to their
principle, which is to help them in fighting the case, Mr Chaiwat said.

Mr Chaiwat said his group had contacted the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh
asking it to facilitate TPN leaders meeting with the two on Feb 25 and
to “respect their decisions.”

The Cambodian court on Feb 1 ruled that the two were guilty of
espionage, illegal entry and trespassing in a military zone. They were
sentenced to an eight-year jail term and a 1.8 million riel (US$450)
fine for Mr Veera and a six-year jail term and a 1.2 million riel
(US$300) fine for Ms Ratree.

An appeal could be filed within 30 days.

Mr Chaiwat said the TPN committee stripped Mr Nathaporn of his role as
legal advisor after the group found that they “couldn’t work well with
each other,” and gave no further details.

Meanwhile, Mr Nathaporn said in an telephone interview that he
actually has not been officially appointed by TPN as the network’s
legal adviser.

Mr Nathaporn said he volunteered to help in the cases of Mr Veera and Ms Ratree because he knew Mr Veera personally.

He said the TPN has no right to dismiss him as part of the legal
advisory team as he was not appointed and has never attended network
meeting except in Mr Veera’s case that he join the two or three
meetings.

He said it was unfair to eject him just because he told a truth different from the network’s ideals.

Mr Nathaporn added that Mr Veera and Mr Ratree had signed letters
giving power of attorney naming him as their proxy in legal matters
related to the case so that only two of them have rights to dismiss him

Mr Veera and Ms Ratree’s families were scheduled to hold a press
briefing on Saturday over the matter, but time and place would announce
later. (MCOT online news)

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Categories: Local News
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