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george

Veera Sentenced To Eight Years In Cambodian Jail

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george    2,855

BORDER DISPUTE

Veera sentenced to eight years in Cambodian jail

By The Nation

The Cambodian Court on Tuesday sentenced Veera Somkwamit, leader of Thai Patriots Network to eight years in jail and his secretary to six years in jail for spying.

The ruling came late Tuesday after hours of hearing during which Veera and Ratree Pipattanapaiboon denied the charges of spying.

The two are among seven Thais arrested while inspecting a site in Sa Kaew province late last year. The five others including a Democrat MP Panich Vikitsreth were freed after being given a nine-month suspended jail term for illegal entry. The duo were also charged of spying.

Meanwhile police have reinforced its security at the Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok on Tuesday following the Cambodian court's hearing.

Thai police have been ordered to strengthen the security at the Cambodian embassy to prevent any possible chaos.

Veera was taken from Prey Sar prison as he was the only one still detained there, while his secretary, Ratree who was earlier granted bail, has arrived at court by Thai embassy van.

Veera was not seen as having a worried expression as his previous court appearance. He shouted to reporters waiting outside the court that he was fine and would not accept the charges and would fight the accusation.

The hearing caught a huge media attention but not for Cambodian citizens as most were leaving Panom Penh to celebrate Chinese New Year with their family in other provinces.

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-- The Nation 2011-02-01

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animatic    4,436

A real shot across those nationalists bows.

No all that surprising since he is a repeat offender and

was making an obvious point of breaking the Cambodian laws.

Now his full amount of time becomes a bargaining chip.

No matter what it will not be short, but not the full 8 in all likelihood.

PAD and TPN must be apoplectic this evening.

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Ned    77

And now according to today's Thai Rath newspaper they want to demolish the Khmer temple.

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Credo    6,456

I think it's going to get pretty hot long before the hot season arrives.

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random    33

great news, its about time one of these scumbags saw the inside of a jail cell for some time, its just a pity the thais have let him wander round for so long, I guess they knew the clown would wonder across the border :D

what a great day, last night we lost torres, today this scumbag gets 8 years to even things up :lol:

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Thai at Heart    17,298

Hold onto your hats. This could get quite interesting.

As for convoluted Thai soap opera endings, what odds Thaksin to call up a few old buddies to get him released? And just when you say, it could never happen, just remember TIT.

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animatic    4,436

Hold onto your hats. This could get quite interesting.

As for convoluted Thai soap opera endings, what odds Thaksin to call up a few old buddies to get him released? And just when you say, it could never happen, just remember TIT.

Agreed.

At the same time there is no reason for the government to go to bat for these fools on a simple trespassing charge, if the conviction includes spying charges, the interesting point will be; spying for whom?

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MaiChai    1,477

Sounds like the Cambodians are trying to provoke the Thais. Will be interesting to see how the Thais respond...

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animatic    4,436

Sounds like the Cambodians are trying to provoke the Thais. Will be interesting to see how the Thais respond...

Or conversely, and likely more correctly, to warn the Thais to stop provoking them.

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webfact    24,352

Cambodian court jails Thai activist

PHNOM PENH, February 1, 2011 (AFP) - A Cambodian court on Tuesday sentenced a high-profile Thai nationalist activist to eight years in prison on spying and illegal entry charges in a case that has rekindled border tensions.

Veera Somkwamkid -- a former leader of the "Yellow Shirt" movement -- and his secretary Ratree Pipattanapaibul were found guilty on charges of illegal entry into Cambodia, trespassing on a military area and attempting to gather information that could affect national defence.

The judge at Phnom Penh Municipal Court handed Ratree a six-year jail term.

The charges carried a maximum combined sentence of 11 years and six months.

Veera, dressed in a blue prison uniform, denied being on Cambodian soil when he was arrested.

"I was walking on Thai territory," he told the court through a translator. "I had no intention to invade Cambodian territory."

Veera and Ratree were also fined 1.8 million riel ($445) and 1.2 million ($300) riel respectively.

The pair were among seven Thais arrested in Cambodia on December 29 while they were inspecting disputed border territory.

The other five members of the group -- including a ruling party politician -- received suspended sentences for illegal entry on January 21 and have since returned to Thailand.

The neighbouring countries, long at odds over their border, have both stressed they want to avoid a row over the issue, although Cambodia rebuffed Thailand's initial demand for the detainees' immediate release.

The Thailand-Cambodia border has never been fully demarcated, partly because it is littered with landmines left over from decades of war in Cambodia.

Around 2,000 nationalist Thai "Yellow Shirts" rallied in Bangkok last week to demonstrate against the government's handling of the border dispute with its neighbour.

The Yellows, who claim allegiance to the throne, are powerful players in Thailand's colour-coded politics.

Officially known as the People's Alliance for Democracy, they seized two Bangkok airports in late 2008, leaving more than 300,000 travellers stranded.

They used to be closely linked to Thai premier Abhisit Vejjajiva but relations have since soured.

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-- (c) Copyright AFP 2011-02-01

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Buchholz    2,952

Any information on the specifics of the espionage conviction?

In what form did the spying take? What secret information were they gathering?

What did these 2 do that was different from the 5 that were with them the whole time and were only found guilty of trespassing?

.

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RedNIvar    272

Could not buy his way out of this one then, huh?

I hope the rest of the Yellows realize that protesting for his release is just a waste of time. They are much better off planning for a big "welcome home" party, and they have 8 years to do it.

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Thai at Heart    17,298

Hold onto your hats. This could get quite interesting.

As for convoluted Thai soap opera endings, what odds Thaksin to call up a few old buddies to get him released? And just when you say, it could never happen, just remember TIT.

Agreed.

At the same time there is no reason for the government to go to bat for these fools on a simple trespassing charge, if the conviction includes spying charges, the interesting point will be; spying for whom?

Espionage is espionage, and it isn't as though a planned small PAD day trip across the border can be dressed up to be in Cambodia's national interest. Doesn't matter if he was doing it provably on anyone's behalf or not I would imagine. He picked the wrong fight, at the wrong time, in the wrong place and now he will pay with some time behind bars. Arrogant, stupid and short sighted is the most polite thing I can think to describe the actions of these PAD i****s. They behave as though they are not responsible for the longer term consequences of their actions, but when you put soldiers at each other's throats, it is your fault.

I am not quite sure how much Veera is worth politically, but if the PAD go moggy about this, they will play completely into Thaksin's hands just when it appeared he and his party were dead in the water. The PAD have committed a very very dumb political move for a narrow political aim that now puts Thaksin back front and centre of the situation all over again. And people believed the PAD came from the more educated and sophisticated side of Thailand. If bullets are traded at the border because of this, any Thai blood is on their hands as far as I am concerned. Someone needs to tell them to stay at home and watch their P&Qs for a very long while.

I don't think it will take long until we get the headlines that "Thaksin offers to negotiate to free Veera". Maybe a day or so at most.

Could you imagine the political mileage that is worth? Abhisit and the government will look completely toothless. What can the army say about it? Thaksin on his white charger to defuse all the problems, and I believe it is a real possibility. Do you think Veera has the principles to volunteer to stay in Cambodia if he knows that Thaksin negotiates his release? They have idiotically allowed Thaksin back to the table. Idiots. Idiots. Idiots.

The PAD will deliver a get out of jail free card to Thaksin if they kick up a stink about this.

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whybother    8,255

Of course, Abhisit might come to the rescue and organise a trade. It's all been planned to get the yellows on Abhisit's side. :whistling:

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