The Cambodian government will provide legal representation to three citizens who were shot at and arrested by Thai soldiers last week while allegedly smuggling drugs across the border.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said officials at the Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok had appointed a defence lawyer to assist the trio, who were arrested in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province on Wednesday.
One of the men, Reth Rithy, who was shot in the leg by Thai soldiers, remained in hospital, while his two alleged accomplices, Bun Yong and Bun Sovat, are being detained in prison.
“I have contacted them and we have also assigned a defence lawyer to provide legal services for them,” Kuong said. “It is important to find them justice.”
Kuong said legal representation was often offered to Cambodian citizens, but Ny Chakrya, chief investigator for rights group Adhoc, said the government’s assistance was unusual.
Chakrya said he had “never heard” of the government offering lawyers to suspected illegal loggers.
According to the Interior Ministry, 19 Cambodians were arrested in Thailand, and nine shot dead, last year.