Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Thai ambassador's account

via CAAI

By The Nation
Published on January 19, 2011

The Nation's Noppatjak Attanon joined other reporters to interview Thai Ambassador to Cambodia Prasas Prasasvinitchai yesterday about the case in Phnom Penh involving seven Thais.

What are the conditions for bail given to the four Thais yesterday?
They cannot leave Cambodia and have to report as summoned.

Where will the six [including the two who got bail earlier] stay?
The six are happy to stay in the house [within the compound] that the embassy prepared for them. I have told them that they can go outside [the embassy compound] but they insist on staying in. They have even asked others to do their grocery shopping.

What is their mental state?
They are all in a good condition, especially after they were bailed out. Samdin [Lertbut] has a bit of cold, while Panich [Vikitsreth] has developed an allergy to insects in the Prey Sar prison. Bugs bit him on the head and his body [he is not infested by lice as initially reported]. He has had to shave off his hair, but is under treatment. Narumol [Jitrawarattana] has a thyroid problem and has already been examined. The three others [Tainae Mungmajon, Kitponthorn Chusnasevee and Ratree Pitpattanapaibul] are all healthy.

Is there any chance of the media talking to Panich?
Panich insists that he doesn't want to talk to the media, because he doesn't want the court to set more bail conditions.

What did Panich say for you to tell the media?
He said that firstly, he had no intention of trespassing into Cambodian soil. Secondly, he respects the justice system of every country he visits, including that of Cambodia. And thirdly, he did not mean to have any adverse impact on Thai-Cambodian ties.

What is the court's explanation for not granting bail to Veera [Somkwamkid]?
The court said the reason was to prevent possible public unrest and to provide safety for him. I do not question the court. In case of dissatisfaction, an appeal should be filed in accordance with the law.

Will Veera appeal?
An appeal should be filed in 15 days, though I'm not sure if an appeal would be allowed in this case. In some cases, an appeal to the Supreme Court is not allowed during a court trial. The lawyers are looking into the legal provisions.

What happened while the seven were in jail?
Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya instructed us [the Thai embassy] to take care of the seven Thais the best we could. We coordinated for food to be sent to them from outside, which is not allowed normally. Also, visits by relatives are normally not allowed during a court trial.

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