Thursday, January 6, 2011

No Thai smiles at Cambodian court this morning

The seven Thais, led by Democrat MP Panich Vikitseth, are being led to the court in Phnom Penh this morning. They face charges of illegal border crossing and trespassing into military areas. Some of them could also face espionage charge.

PM Abhisit Vejjajiva says the seven had no ill intention. His Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen insists that the seven Thais must go through the local judicial procedure, having rejected the Thai government's request to release the Thais.

Veera Somkuamkid, an activist who had been arrested on similar charges before, appeared more worried than Panich when they arrived at the Phnom Penh court this morning. His repeated offence is being seen as a huge legal disadvantage for him.

The Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman says attempts will be made to seek bails for all the seven Thais.

Foreign Minister Kasit Biromya insists that every one of the seven Thais will be given equal assistance, rejecting rumours that only Panich,a former vice foreign affairs minister, would be granted help by the Thai government.

Thai-Cambodian ties have come under a new degree of tension once again.

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