Jan 16, 2011
Phnom Penh - A lawyer representing five Thai citizens in pre-trial detention in Phnom Penh said they would again apply for bail, national media reported Monday.
Lawyer Pech Vicheka told the Cambodia Daily newspaper that a bail hearing had been scheduled for Tuesday at the Appeal Court.
Late last week the lower court granted bail to two of the seven Thais who were arrested on December 29 on suspicion of illegally crossing into Cambodia.
A statement from Cambodia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the two had been released on health grounds.
One of those freed on bail on Thursday was parliamentarian Panich Vikitsreth of Thailand's ruling Democrat Party.
Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Thani Thongphakdi said at the time that Bangkok was 'hopeful' the five would also get bail.
Earlier this month the seven Thais told the court they had crossed the border accidentally.
They face charges of illegally entering Cambodia and unlawfully entering a military area. They could be given up to 18 months in prison if convicted.
Last week, the court also concluded its investigation into spying charges against two of the five Thais still in detention, one of whom is a prominent political figure.
Veera Somkwamkit, a former leader of the nationalist People's Alliance for Democracy movement, also known as the yellow shirts, was questioned along with his secretary Ratree Taiputana.
Veera and Ratree could be jailed for 10 years if convicted of the more serious charge of spying.
The Cambodian government has said the case would not affect relations between the two nations, and insisted the judicial process needed to take its natural course.
Relations between Thailand and Cambodia have been tense for more than two years with sporadic clashes between troops over disputed territory surrounding the 11th-century Hindu temple of Preah Vihear on Cambodia's northern border.