Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Ministry says envoy followed protocol

Puea Thai Party pushes for Kasit's resignation

Published: 16/12/2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

The Foreign Ministry says it will soon clarify the actions of the Thai diplomat at the centre of the Cambodia "spying" controversy.

Thai "spy" Sivarak Chutipong criticised Kamrob Palawatwichai, first secretary to the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh, for landing him in a Cambodian jail for a month.

Sivarak was freed on Monday after receiving a royal pardon in Phnom Penh.

Mr Kamrob was expelled from Cambodia for phoning Sivarak and asking for ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's Nov 11 flight details.

The Foreign Ministry has since vigorously defended the embassy's first secretary. The ministry has repeatedly said Mr Kamrob did nothing wrong and worked within diplomatic norms.

But Sivarak and his mother, Simarak na Nakhon Phanom, have demanded further explanation.

More detail on why Mr Kamrob was asked to have Sivarak obtain Thaksin's flight schedule will be provided in a press release to be issued on behalf of Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, who is in China, a ministry source said.

"It is the duty of all Thai diplomats based abroad to thoroughly check any information they receive on the arrival plans of a fugitive as they need to coordinate with the prosecutors for his extradition," the source said.

Prosecutors must be assured of a fugitive's whereabouts before an extradition request can be made, the source said.

The Puea Thai Party has used the Sivarak case to ramp up its pressure on the government.

The party has urged the ministry to set up a panel to investigate Mr Kasit and Mr Kamrob.

The Puea Thai-controlled House Committee on Foreign Affairs said it would summon the two for questioning.

But Chavanond Intarakomalyasut, secretary to the foreign minister, said there was no need for a fact-finding panel.

"We should stop the bickering and offer moral support to all of them [Sivarak, his mother and Mr Kamrob]," he said.

He said the ministry would send Isorn Pokmontri, an ambassador attached to the ministry, to answer the committee's questions in place of Mr Kasit and Mr Kamrob.

Puea Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said Mr Kasit would be targeted in a censure debate next month when he would be pressured to resign.

No comments: