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Court Upholds Verdict for Sam Rainsy in Border Marker Case

A guard separates Prum Chea, left, and Meas Srey, right, as they wait at the Court of Appeals on Wednesday. Both were released later with time served on charges related to the uprooting of markers along the Vietnamese border in Svay Rieng province.

The Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a two-year jail sentence against opposition leader Sam Rainsy, while releasing two villagers with time served on charges related to a Vietnamese encroachment demonstration.

The court upheld the verdict of Svay Rieng court against Sam Rainsy, who was found guilty of destruction of property and racial incitement for uprooting markers along the Vietnam border, where Cambodian villagers said they had lost land to encroachment.

Sam Rainsy's lawyer, Chu Choung Y, said he would appeal the verdict with the Supreme Court.

Arrested for the October 2009 incident were Prum Chea, 41, and Meas Srey, 40, who lived in Chantreay district where the posts were uprooted.

Both have been held ever since, but the Appeals Court said Wednesday they could be released with time served. Both said they were grateful for the decision.