Two of seven Thais detained in Cambodia taken to court for hearing on spying charge

Veera Somkwamkid (Photo: CEN)
Ratree Pipattanapaiboon (Photo: CEN)
PHNOM PENH, Jan 12 (MCOT online news) -- Two of the seven Thai nationals detained here were taken to Phnom Penh Municipal Court Wednesday morning for a hearing on spying charges on top of the illegal entry and trespassing into a Cambodian military area.

The Cambodian government prosecutor earlier has added espionage to the charges levelled against Veera Somkwamkid, Secretary General of the People’s Network Against Corruption and leader of the Thailand Patriot Network and his secretary Ratree Pipattanapaiboon, citing they gathered security information that could pose a severe threat to Cambodian security.

The two were seen as having worried expressions on their faces during they were taken into the court premises.

Mr Veera reportedly told the media waiting outside the court that there was an attempt to frame him with the new charge.

According to Cambodian laws, the two people may face five to 10 years imprisonment if found guilty.

The two were among the seven Thais, including Democrat Member of Parliament for Bangkok Panich Vikitsreth, who were arrested Dec 29, by the Cambodian authorities for illegal entry into Cambodian territory in Banteay Meanchey province and are now being detained in Phnom Penh's Prey Sar Prison.

The Cambodian court finished the first hearings last Thursday.

The detainees face two initial charges -- illegal entry into the Cambodian kingdom, with possible punishment of three to six months jail and deportation, and also trespass into a Cambodian military zone, punishable by three to six months jail and Bt7,500-15,000 in fines.

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