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Pattaya Daily News

14 June 2011 :: 09:06:45 am 54932

Thai PM rejects Cambodian accusation over spy arrest

JAKARTA, June 13 - Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Monday said last week’s arrest of three men--a Thai, a Cambodian and a Vietnamese--on espionage charges was not a set-up as alleged by Phnom Penh, saying Cambodian consular officials have been in contact with the Thai authorities on the matter since the day of the arrest.
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The Thai premier, attending the World Economic Forum in the Indonesian capital, made the denial following the Cambodian government accusation that Thailand had fabricated the story of the spies.

Mr Abhisit stated the Thai Foreign Ministry has issued a statement dismissing Phnom Penh’s accusation and that any further information obtained from the investigation would be used in international forums.

“It’s impossible that we conspired with any foreigners to make up the case.” Mr Abhisit said. “I have been informed that Cambodian consular officials tried to contact the Thai officials since the day of the arrest of its national”.

“Such a response would not have been possible had the story been made up,” the Thai premier stated.

Thai national Suchart Muhammad, 32, Cambodian Ung Kimtai, 43, and Nguyen Tengyang, 37, a Vietnamese, were arrested last Tuesday at a Thai border village in the northeastern province of Si Sa Ket on charges of spying on Thai paramilitary bases and bunkers built to shelter Thai villagers in the event of cross-border attacks or shelling.

Regarding the possibility of an exchange of prisoners, Mr Abhisit said the detainees must face legal action under Thai judicial procedures first and that Cambodia should respect the Thai judicial system.

A Cambodian court ruled on February 1 that Veera Somkwamkid, Thai Patriots Network coordinator, and his secretary Ratree Pipattanapaiboon were guilty of espionage, illegal entry, and trespassing in a military zone. Mr Veera was sentenced to an eight-year jail term and a 1.8 million riel (US$450) fine, while Ms Ratree was handed a six-year jail term and a 1.2 million riel (US$300) fine.

Meanwhile, Chavanond Intarakomalyasut, secretary to the Thai Foreign Minister, asserted Monday that the arrest of the three men was neither politically motivated nor had been set up, and that there were sufficient grounds for the arrest.

Mr Chavanond however did not say whether Thailand would raise the issue in the International Court of Justice or the meeting of the World Heritage Committee which is scheduled to be held next week in Paris.

The foreign ministry’s statement released on Monday said the police are investigating the case and will not take legal action if there is no strong evidence.

Report by : MCOT

Cambodia slams Thai ‘spy’ arrests

PHNOM PENH, June 11, 2011 (AFP) – Cambodia has accused Thailand of “deceitful fabrication” after Thai police arrested three men on suspicion of spying near the neighbours’ disputed border.

Thailand arrests three ‘border ‘spies’

BANGKOK, June 10, 2011 (AFP) – Thailand has arrested three men on suspicion of spying near its disputed border with Cambodia, accusing its neighbour Friday of “violating” its territory.

Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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