UBON RATCHATHANI - Two Cambodians have been released after a Thai court sentenced them to two-year suspended jail terms for illegally trespassing into Thailand while they were collecting forest products.
Ubon Ratchathani Governor Prawat Ratirom accompanied two Cambodian villagers from Preah Vihear province to the Chong Sangam border crossing in Sisaket province to hand over the two Cambodian nationals to Preah Vihear deputy governor Sor Thavy who was waiting to receive them.
Both men were arrested by Thai soldiers as they collected forest products in the Phanom Dong Rak Mountain Range near Thailand's Ubon Ratchathani province on Dec 29.
They were charged with illegally entering the Thai kingdom and were sentenced on Thursday to two months prison but the jail term was suspended and they were fined Bt2,500 each.
Mr Prawat said Preah Vihear Governor Oum Mara coordinated with him to help the two Cambodians.
They were set free as they did not intend to trespass into Thai territory but they became lost and their detention period exceeded the fine, according to the Thai governor.
Mr Prawat said the two Cambodian nationals were released to demonstrate Thailand’s sincerity and establish positive relations between Thai and Cambodian local authorities.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said the release of the two Khmers has nothing to do with the Cambodian court agreeing to grant bail for two of seven Thais detained in Phnom Penh charged with trespass into Cambodia territory.
He said it was the co-incident not the exchange of prisoner deal between the two countries.
The Cambodian court on Thursda allowed Mr Panich Vikitsreth, MP for Bangkok and Naruemol Chitwaratana of the People’s Network Against Corruption and Santi Asoke networks, to be temporary freed under bail.
The seven were arrested Dec 29 by the Cambodian authorities for illegal entry into Cambodia in Banteay Meanchey province and are now detained in Phnom Penh's Prey Sar Prison. (MCOT online news)