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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thai court holds first hearing for Cambodian ‘spy’

Thai court holds first hearing for Cambodian ‘spy’

A Cambodian man accused of espionage and drug use denied the charges against him in Thai court yesterday, a Cambodian official said.

Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the court had then delayed the hearing “due to lack of evidence” and would reconvene on August 15.

Ung Kimthai was arrested by Thai authorities in Sisaket province last month. Koy Kuong said the espionage charge stems from a claim that Ung Kimthai photographed Thai military areas.

“He denied all these charges during the hearing, and our lawyer also requested the court to show the evidence, but the court didn’t have it,” Koy Kuong said. “I think the accusation against him is to try for an exchange of the two Thai nationals currently in jail,” he added, referring to Veera Somkwamkid and Ratree Pipattanapaiboon, who are serving sentences for espionage, illegal entry and tresspassing on a military area.

Ung Kimthai was apprehended with one Thai national and another man from Vietnam. Cambodian authorities have called the espionage charge against him a “deceitful fabrication”.

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