Cambodia

Hun Sen Wants Thai ‘Spies’ Released

Thai activists Veera Somkwamkid, second left, a core leader of Yellow Shirts and Panich Vikitsreth, a member of Parliment of the ruling Democrat party, second right, are escorted by Cambodian court security personnel at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, file photo. Thai activists Veera Somkwamkid, second left, a core leader of Yellow Shirts and Panich Vikitsreth, a member of Parliment of the ruling Democrat party, second right, are escorted by Cambodian court security personnel at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, file photo.
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Thai activists Veera Somkwamkid, second left, a core leader of Yellow Shirts and Panich Vikitsreth, a member of Parliment of the ruling Democrat party, second right, are escorted by Cambodian court security personnel at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, file photo.
Thai activists Veera Somkwamkid, second left, a core leader of Yellow Shirts and Panich Vikitsreth, a member of Parliment of the ruling Democrat party, second right, are escorted by Cambodian court security personnel at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, file photo.
Heng ReaksmeyVOA Khmer
PHNOM PENH - Prime Minister Hun Sen has written the Minister of Justice to seek reduced sentences for two Thai nationals who were jailed on espionage charges in 2010.

The minister will decide soon on whether to release Veera Somkwamkid and Ratri Pipattanaopaiboon, who were arrested in Banthey Meanchey province in the midst of a tense military border standoff, according to a statement from the ministry.

The reduced sentence could come after the cremation ceremony for former king Norodom Sihanouk, following requests by Thai premier Yingluck Shinawatra, officials said.

Bun Yay Narin, deputy director of cabinet for the Justice Ministry, said the minister has received a request from Hun Sen, but declined to provide more details, referring questions to cabinet director Sam Prachea Meanith, who could not be reached for comment.

Shinawatra requested the pardons during the Asean summit in Phnom Penh in November and reiterated the request this week, the ministry statement said.

Veera Somkwamkid is facing eight years in prison and Ratri Pipattanaopaiboon six, on charges of espionage and illegal entry into Cambodia. Five others arrested alongside them have already been released on suspended sentences.
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Yearlong Political Deadlock Endsi
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22 July 2014
Cambodia’s political deadlock has ended. For nearly a year, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has refused to join the government, calling for electoral reforms in a system it says was deeply flawed. Following nearly five hours of meetings between top opposition officials and Prime Minister Hun Sen, that deadlock has ended. The two sides finally reached agreement on a formula for selecting the National Election Committee, which the Rescue Party has said was biased toward the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. Hun Sen and Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy emerged from talks Tuesday smiling and shaking hands. “Victory,” Hun Sen told reporters after the meeting. “You can all applaud.” (Heng Reaksmey, Phnom Penh)

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