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Thai duo’s appeal gets bounced

The appeal of two Thai citizens to overturn their five-year prison term for illegally entering Cambodia was denied yesterday.

Appeal Court judge Khun Leang Meng denied the pleas of Phit Orna and Thorng Den Yakla, who claimed they entered Cambodia by accident in 2010 while hunting, and upheld the five-year prison term handed down by Preah Vihear Provincial Court.

He added the pair would be deported back to Thailand after serving the sentence.

Defence attorney Kao Soupha said his clients, who were caught crossing the border in Preah Vihear’s Choam Ksan district, were arrested during a period of unrest along the border of Thailand and Cambodia.

He claimed that his clients got lost while hunting and wandered into Cambodia, where they were unfairly detained due to the tense border situation, caused by the dispute regarding ownership of the Preah Vihear temple.

“The Appeal Court’s decision is extreme. They did not intend to cross into Cambodia,” Kao Soupha said.

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