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Veera Sentenced To Eight Years In Cambodian Jail

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Tough prison terms

By THE NATION, AGENCIES

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PAD, TPN claims govt responsible after Cambodian court sentences Veera to eight years in jail and Ratree to six; warn of violence by third party Veera Somkwamkid and Ratree Pipatanapaiboon were yesterday given lengthy prison sentences in Phnom Penh over charges of illegal entry and espionage in a case that could worsen ties between Thailand and Cambodia.

In the one-day trial, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court found Veera, who leads the Thai Patriots Network (TPN), and his assistant Ratree, guilty of espionage, illegal entry and trespassing in a military zone. These charges carry a maximum combined penalty of 11 years and six months.

Veera was sentenced to eight years behind bars and a fine of 1.8 million riel (about Bt18,000), while Ratree was given six years and fined 1.2 million riel (Bt12,000).

The pair were among seven Thais arrested on December 29 while allegedly inspecting disputed border territory. The five other members of the group, including Democrat MP Panich Vikitsreth, received suspended sentences for illegal entry on January 21 and have since returned home.

Veera and Ratree have up to a month to appeal the verdict. Their legal adviser Karun Sai-ngam said yesterday that the defence team would file an appeal immediately.

The TPN leader, wearing a blue prison uniform, kept insisting in court yesterday that he was not on Cambodian soil when arrested.

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

Veera also cited a Google Earth map to support this argument that he was on Thai territory when Cambodian soldiers arrested him. When asked if he was sure the Cambodian authorities would approve the map, Veera responded that maps on Google Earth were globally accepted and should be considered the most neutral at the moment.

In Bangkok, Foreign Ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdi said yesterday that the ministry would support the two on whatever they decide to do in response to the ruling - be it filing an appeal or seeking an amnesty.

Thani, who is also director-general of the Department of Information, said the ministry has insisted that the verdict would have no legal bearing on the border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia.

The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), which Veera's group is part of, demanded yesterday that the government be held responsible for the guilty verdict issued by the Cambodian court.

PAD spokesman Parnthep Puapongphan, speaking at the protest site outside Government House, said the government had never supplied any information that could help Veera and Ratree in court.

"Throughout this trial, up until this hour, the government has not provided any information that benefits the two. So it must be held responsible for the negative ruling," Parnthep said yesterday evening.

He said the PAD would file petitions shortly with the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Administrative Court against the government and certain politicians in relation to their performance over the border conflict in general and the court case in particular.

Senator Kamnoon Sithisamarn said at the PAD protest site yesterday that the guilty verdict was like a "slap in the face" where Thailand's dignity was concerned.

Suthorn Rakrong, coordinator of the TPN, warned that a third party might use the situation to cause more confusion and maybe even lead to a coup by indulging in violent acts such as torching the Cambodian embassy.

"If anything like that really happens, I insist it has nothing to do with the Thai Patriots Network," he said.

The activist also said that leaders of the group would meet this morning to come up with a statement rejecting the Cambodian court's verdict.

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-- The Nation 2011-02-02

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

Seems a logical solution - get rid of the historical artifact causing all the problem then all the troops can go home. Sounds like the Taliban and the removal of the Buddhist statues. Remove the problem then there is nothing to argue about. As for Veera - som num na. This guy really deserves it but 'spying'? That's a bit thin. As already pointed out by Animatic - the guy is a repeat offender and most likely won't serve full term but he may find being in a Cambodian jail a bit less attractive than a Thai jail where he could have access to some creature comforts thru 'connections'. But let's wait for the round of reprisals and counter claims and appeals... rolleyes.gif

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warn of violence by third party

Why do these guys (both colours) always warn that other people are going to do something bad. It's not third parties. It's their own party - just the violent side of their party.

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

I don't think they are talking about demolishing the temple. The "pagoda" they are referring to is a structure ADJACENT TO the temple, with a flag in front of it. At least that's my understanding.

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Of course my fundamental question is what was their real reason for going there? Was he an idiot stooge prompted by somebody to go and provoke the Cambodians with some promise of something if he did that? Was he a rogue operation? Was he just seeking attention? Was he a misguided patriot thinking this would somehow help Thailand?

Whether the Spy charges are legitmate or not, I don't know, and that is secondary to the issue. He and the others knew they were going to Cambodia, they knew they were in Cambodia. I am sure Thailand would not like it if somebody went into Thailand without proper documentation or permission, i.e. visas.

I hope the man is content with his situation. It sure seems like he was determined to go to Cambodia for whatever reason.

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Of course my fundamental question is what was their real reason for going there? Was he an idiot stooge prompted by somebody to go and provoke the Cambodians with some promise of something if he did that? Was he a rogue operation? Was he just seeking attention? Was he a misguided patriot thinking this would somehow help Thailand?

Whether the Spy charges are legitmate or not, I don't know, and that is secondary to the issue. He and the others knew they were going to Cambodia, they knew they were in Cambodia. I am sure Thailand would not like it if somebody went into Thailand without proper documentation or permission, i.e. visas.

I hope the man is content with his situation. It sure seems like he was determined to go to Cambodia for whatever reason.

From his statements he seems to firmly believe he was in Thai territory regardless of any past agreements or ongoing negotiations & because of this does not believe he is guilty of any crime. In that his actions were purely nationalistic. IMO it was an extremely foolhardy move which has escalated tensions on the border & some seem to be quite happy to go to war over it. <deleted> are they thinking, not rationally. There always seems to be some conspiracy or ulterior motive for all things political & quite possibly the case here. If he showed some remorse right at the start he would probably be home right now. Despite that the espionage verdict is spurious at best.

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The charge is ridiculous, but given the contempt with which Veera has treated Cambodia I feel little sympathy.

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Funny thing is, Arisman could be charged with a very similar offence, pity the Cambodian security apparatus is less effective at finding and jailing him. The Cambodian legal system is a joke really, so if you're going to play a high stakes game of crossing into disputed territory this is what you get.

8 Years for allegedly spying? How many years for being a Khmer Rouge leader accused of murdering thousands?

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Tough prison terms

By THE NATION, AGENCIES

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

Veera also cited a Google Earth map to support this argument that he was on Thai territory when Cambodian soldiers arrested him. When asked if he was sure the Cambodian authorities would approve the map, Veera responded that maps on Google Earth were globally accepted and should be considered the most neutral at the moment.

nationlogo.jpg

-- The Nation 2011-02-02

The Google Map defence eh? Good Luck with that one, Veera. The Cambodians are not exactly impressed with googles' representation of the Thai/Cambodian border. In fact they said "(The map) is devoid of truth and reality, and professionally irresponsible, if not pretentious,"

More here: http://www.reuters.c...E61406G20100205

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Funny thing is, Arisman could be charged with a very similar offence, pity the Cambodian security apparatus is less effective at finding and jailing him. The Cambodian legal system is a joke really, so if you're going to play a high stakes game of crossing into disputed territory this is what you get.

8 Years for allegedly spying? How many years for being a Khmer Rouge leader accused of murdering thousands?

allegedly, : a highly placed policeman friend of mine said Arisman was dead

they say he was shot in Cambodia by his own reds to stop him turning when he was caught

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All rather amusing to my mind .

Now Veera has a chance to prove his courage in his convictions both politically and morally by accepting his sentence as part of the passage of rite for his cause.

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The charge is ridiculous, but given the contempt with which Veera has treated Cambodia I feel little sympathy.

Well makes no difference if the charge is ridicules or not.

He is guilty of espionage.

Just because Thai's and farongs can only see scrub land if it is a military base you are spying on it. They do not have to prove he passed any thing on just that he was spying on them. If I am correct he did take a pictures with his phone. Why?

Pretty slim reasoning. It is how ever sufficient to give him what he deserves.

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Super top secret espionage caught on video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZWSnF5S5e4&feature=related

Cambodia must surely be actively attempting to track down and prosecute Youtube poster "wannaprasart" as well his thousands of viewers for espionage of their highly classified military base.

How the wily spy team got past the superbly trained base security guards depicted in the opening segment and the extremely fortified base remains a mystery.

.

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Super top secret espionage caught on video:

Cambodia must surely be actively attempting to track down and prosecute Youtube poster "wannaprasart" as well his thousands of viewers for espionage of their highly classified military base.

How the wily spy team got past the superbly trained base security guards depicted in the opening segment and the extremely fortified base remains a mystery.

Veera supposedly had a camera in his jacket. Was he wearing a jacket?

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The charge is ridiculous, but given the contempt with which Veera has treated Cambodia I feel little sympathy.

Well makes no difference if the charge is ridicules or not.

He is guilty of espionage.

Just because Thai's and farongs can only see scrub land if it is a military base you are spying on it. They do not have to prove he passed any thing on just that he was spying on them. If I am correct he did take a pictures with his phone. Why?

Pretty slim reasoning. It is how ever sufficient to give him what he deserves.

Having seen a friend's camera confiscated because he took a picture of some scenery in China that also included a supposedly important bridge, espionage can be interpreted in a pretty broad manner.

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BANGKOK 25 July 2017 07:31
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