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Pattaya Daily News

09 December 2009 :: 11:12:23 am 31060

Mother of Sentenced Thai Engineer Will Not Appeal Cambodian Court Verdict

BANGKOK, Dec 8 (TNA) The mother of the detained Thai engineer found guilty in a Cambodian court opted to not appeal the verdict, saying she will seek a royal pardon with the help of the opposition Puea Thai Party.
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Speaking by phone from Phnom Penh to Puea Thai party headquarters after hearing the verdict, Simarak Na Nakhon Panom, mother of Siwarak Chutipong, the Thai national jailed for seven years and fined Bt 100,000 (US$3,000) on espionage charges, said she would not appeal the verdict out of concern that it would delay the court case.

Mr Siwarak was convicted of passing allegedly confidential flight information relating to ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s visit to Phnom Penh last month.

His mother said she would ask her lawyer to seek a royal pardon in an attempt to free her son as soon as possible. She also urged two former Thai prime ministers–Thaksin Shinawatra and Chavalit Yongchaiyudh–to help secure her son’s release.

“I decided to seek help from the opposition party for fear that obstacles may arise through Thai foreign ministry channels as the relations between the two countries are in trouble,” said Mrs Simarak.

She reiterated that her son’s case should not be linked to political issues and called on Kamrob Palawatwichai, the then first secretary of the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh, to show his responsibility as he had asked her son to pass on the information.

The Cambodian court said the flight schedule of Mr Thaksin was considered confidential as Mr Thaksin was appointed an economic adviser of the Cambodian government by King Norodom Sihamoni.

As Mr Thaksin is a prominent figure, sharing information of his flight details to the Thai embassy is tantamount to sharing Cambodian confidential information to Thailand.

The six-hour trial called the defendant and four witnesses to testify, including two Cambodian colleagues of Mr Siwarak and two police officers. Mr Siwarak admitted he inform the Thai diplomat verbally but didn?t pass on copy of the flight schedule.

His two colleagues said the flight schedule was not important information, but should not be shared with persons outside the company. Mr Siwarak’s lawyer argued the flight information is not confidential and anyone in the company can view it and Siwarak didn?t know Thaksin was aboard that plane. The only thing he knew was that a VIP was on the plane.

Moreover, Cambodian media had earlier reported Mr Thaksin’s arrival.

Thai and Cambodian relations were downgraded after Cambodia appointed Mr Thaksin as an economic adviser and refused to extradite him to Thailand. enewsMr Thaksin was sentenced in absentia to two years in prison for violating a conflict-of-interest law. (TNA)



BANGKOK, Dec 8 (TNA)  A Cambodian court on Tuesday sentenced a Thai national to seven years in prison and fined him 100,000 baht (US$3,000) for stealing flight information details of ousted Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Siwarak Chutipong, an employee of Cambodia Air Traffic Services (CATS), was found guilty of spy charges. His mother Simarak Na Nakhon Panom, attending the trial on Tuesday, burst into tears and gave no comment to the media regarding her reaction to the Khmer court verdict.

It is expected that Mr Siwarak?s mother and his lawyer will seek a royal pardon to help free him.

Former Thai prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh earlier drafted a letter to seek a royal pardon for Mr Siwarak, in another attempt to help him.

Mr Siwarak was arrested by Cambodian police a month ago on charges of stealing information on the flight schedule of ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and passing it to a Thai diplomat in Phnom Penh.

Mr Thaksin spent five days in Cambodia in early November in his new role as an economic adviser appointed by the Cambodian government.

The former Thai prime minister was ousted in a coup in 2006, and was found guilty in absentia on violating conflict of interest regulations in helping his wife to buy land from a state agency at a reduced price. He was sentenced to two years in prison by the Thai Supreme Court. (TNA)





Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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