Hun Sen firm on Thais

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Photo by: Heng Chivoan
Prime Minister Hun Sen addresses more than 1,500 students at the National Institute of Education in Phnom Penh on Sunday.
By: Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen said Sunday that a Thai parliamentarian and six other Thais arrested on trespassing charges will have to serve at least two-thirds of their jail sentences if convicted, as additional charges were announced against two of the detainees.

A group of Thais including Panich Vikitsreth, a lawmaker from Thailand’s ruling Democrat Party, were arrested in Banteay Meanchey province last month and charged with illegal entry and unlawfully entering a military base, charges that carry a combined maximum sentence of 18 months in prison.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh, the premier said neither the government nor any other organisation could intervene the case.
“Intervention from all corners, including the United Nations, is impossible,” Hun Sen said.

“We will talk about this further when the court has completed its procedure, but the law is the law, the court is the court, and the government cannot influence or order the court to do this or that for a political compromise.”

He added: “After they are convicted, they have 30 days to make an appeal, and after the conviction is effective, they have to serve two thirds of their sentences before we consider whether there is a pardon or not. What I am saying is based on the law.”

Under Cambodian law, prisoners are eligible for pardons after serving two-thirds of their jail sentences. In 2009, however, the government released a Thai national sentenced to seven years in prison on espionage charges just days after his conviction. the full story in tomorrow’s Phnom Penh Post or see the updated story online from 3PM UTC/GMT +7 hours.

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