Friday, January 7, 2011

Cambodian court puts seven Thais on trial

A Cambodian court has begun hearings against seven Thais, including a member of parliament, who were arrested late in December and now face charges of illegal entry into Cambodia.

The group of Thais arrested by the Cambodian authorities was led by Panich Vikitsreth, a member of parliament, as well as of Thailand's governing Democrat Party.

A nationalist group, the Thailand Patriot Network, has claimed the group was not in Cambodian territory at all.

"Kampuchea (the traditional name for Cambodia) says Thai people entered her territory but actually it’s Thai territory," said Werasak Samrit, a businessman and a co-leader of the network.

But government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said on Thursday that the case was a "priority" and officials were doing all that they could to ensure the Thais return home as soon as possible.

"We are determined to help them. We do respect the Cambodian process and sovereignty, and law and justice. We hope that if the case does not move forward (through the courts) then these people will be released," he said.

The Thai legislator Panich apparently said in the Cambodian court that he had "unintentionally" crossed into Cambodia.

However, evidence emerged in the form of a video posted on the Internet that shows him walking to the Cambodian border. He says in a mobile phone conversation that he has crossed into Cambodian territory and that this information should be passed on to the prime minister's secretary.

"We're waiting for the government to solve this problem, but the government has neglected and ignored this problem," he added.

To read more:,,6390153,00.html

No comments:

Post a Comment