Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thai spy appeals heard today

Thai spy appeals heard today

Thai spy appeals heard today

111228_03
Thai Yellow Shirt activist Veera Somkwamkid (left) and his secretary Ratree Pipapatanapaiboon (right) arrive at Phnom Penh Municipal Court for a hearing in January.

Two Thai detainees, Veera Somkwamkid and Ratree Pipattanapaiboon, will today appear at the Court of Appeal for a much-anticipated hearing over their conviction by a lower court of espionage.   

Appeal court Judge Samrith Sophal confirmed that he will lead a hearing of the case as scheduled.

“I cannot make any comment right now, but it will take place tomorrow,” Samrith Sophal told the Post.

Veera, a leader of the Yellow Shirts, or People’s Alliance for Democracy, and his secretary Ratree were sentenced to eight and six years in jail, respectively, by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in February  on charges of illegal entry, entering a restricted military base and espionage.

Both were arrested on December 29, 2010, along with five others, including Democrat Party MP Panich Vikitsreth, after they crossed the border from Thailand into Banteay Meanchey province to inspect the border-demarcation process.

Five were released after the court suspended their sentences of nine months in jail.

Ros Aun, lawyer for the two Thai detainees, said his clients will appear at the court for questioning as to whether or not they will appeal, denying that it would be a trial. “The court just wants to know whether they will appeal or not. It is not a trial,” he said.

Veera and Ratree will appear in court just one day before a two-day visit to Cambodia by Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul and Thai Minister of Energy Pichai Naripthaphan.

The government of former Thai premier Abhisit Vejjajiva tried unsuccessfully several times to secure the release of the pair, now in Prey Sar prison, by requesting a Royal pardon from King Norodom Sihamoni via Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said that he was unaware of whether the case of Veera and Ratree would be discussed at the meeting between Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and his Thai counterpart.

Prime Ministers Hun Sen and Yingluck Shinawatra “have clearly stated that the case of Veera and Ratree should be resolved by the law of Cambodia”, he said, adding: “It is the job of the court.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Malaysian MP calls on his government to take stand on Cambodian elections

    A Malaysian parliamentarian raised concerns in his country on Wednesday about Cambodia’s July 29 national elections and urged his government to clarify its position on the subject, the Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) said on Thursday. Wong Chen, a member of the People’s

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not