Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Five Thais Convicted in Cambodia and Sent Home


via CAAI


Five Thais returned to their home country from Cambodia on Saturday after being convicted of entering Cambodia illegally.

On Friday a Cambodian court convicted the five Thais. It’s been a case that has strained relations between the neighboring states.

The five, including parliament member Panich Vikitsreth, were all sentenced to nine months jail for crossing the disputed border area between Thailand and Cambodia.

The court suspended the remaining eight-month jail term but they were each fined about $247 U.S. dollars.

During the trial, the court was presented with evidence including a video clip that showed Panich talking on the phone with Thai Prime Minister Abhisit's aide, telling him that he was going into Cambodia.

Witnesses included border police and soldiers who said that Panich and others were in Cambodia intentionally.

Panich said he entered Cambodia by accident.

There were originally seven in the group which was detained last December.

The other two detainees remain in custody and face charges of espionage.

All seven said they had only been inspecting the border.

Large stretches of the Thai-Cambodian border are poorly demarcated and many border markers have been destroyed or moved during decades of conflict in Cambodia.

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