December 30, 2010
Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said on Thursday that there is no any release of the seven Thai nationals arrested on Wednesday in Banteay Meanchey and they were already sent into prison.
"There is no any release of them. Let the judicial procedure to proceed the case, now the case is in hand of the court, the government cannot do anything," said Hor Namhong after meeting with his visiting Thai counterpart Kasit Piromya on Thursday afternoon. "They have intention to enter Cambodian territory and Mr. Kasit has agreed with Cambodia that they entered deeply into Cambodian territory," said Hor Namhong.
"I traveled to Cambodia in order to listen to the fact on the arrest of the seven Thai nationals," Kasit said after meeting with Hor Namhong. "Thai government respects the justice procedure of Cambodia."
He said that he was unaware that the Thais entered too deeply into Cambodian territory.
Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, arrived Cambodia Thursday afternoon, sought to the release of the seven Thai nationals through negotiation.
Meanwhile, Sok Roeun, deputy prosecutor of Phnom Penh Municipal Court told Xinhua on Thursday that after 7-hour inquest on the arrested Thais, the court decided to charge them two cases: one is the illegal entry into Cambodian territory according to the article 29 of the Cambodia's immigration law and the other is on the bandit deed to enter military base based on the article 473 of the penal code.
He said that for the first case, they could face between 3 and 6 months in prison, and the second case from 6 to 12 months in prison and fine from 1 million to 2 million Cambodian riels (about 250 U.S. dollars to 500 U.S. dollars).
The seven Thai nationals had been sent to the Phnom Penh's Prey Sar prison after the inquest.
They had been arrested on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. by Cambodian border protection army at the border pole No. 46 in Chhokchey village, Obiychhorn commune, Ochrov district, Banteay Meanchey province. The location is opposite to Norngchan village of Thailand's eastern Sa Kaeo Province.
The Cambodian-Thai border has never been fully demarcated. And the two sides have had border conflict just one week after Cambodia's Preah Vihear Temple was registered as World Heritage Site in July 2008.
Since the conflict started, military standoff has been on and off along the two countries' border and several military clashes have already happened with recorded small causalities from both sides.
However, the border issue has been eased as the top leaders of Cambodia and Thailand have held four meetings since September.