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Logging: Govt sends delegation to Thai court

Logging
The Cambodian government said Monday that it had sent a delegation to Thailand’s Surin province to inquire about a court decision issued last Friday sentencing six Cambodians to prison terms for illegal logging in Thailand. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said the delegation was hoping to enlist the services of a Thai lawyer to help in filing a complaint in the case. “We are seeking a Thai lawyer who knows Thai laws and can explain if the trial held by the Surin provincial court was just or not according to the country’s legal procedure,” Koy Kuong said. The six villagers, from Oddar Meanchey province’s O’Smach commune, were sentenced to 27 months in prison last week after their arrest on January 25. O’Smach residents say the group was only collecting rattan in an undemarcated area it had visited many times before. Cambodia had planned to dispatch a team of legal advisers for the trial on Friday before being erroneously informed by the Thai court that the trial had been rescheduled, Koy Kuong said, voicing suspicions that the move was an effort to prevent the villagers from receiving legal assistance.

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