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No ‘Spy’ Prisoner Exchange: Hun Sen

Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday ruled out a prisoner exchange of three people recently arrested in Thailand on spying charges with two Thai activists already serving time in Cambodia on similar counts.

In a speech rebuking media statements by Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya on Saturday, Hun Sen said Thailand should go ahead with trials for the three Cambodians allegedly caught over the disputed Thai border.

Thai national Suchart Muhammad, 32, Cambodian Ung Kimtai, 43, and Nguyen Tengyang, 37, a Vietnamese, were arrested last Tuesday at in Thailand’s Si Sa Ket province and accused of spying on Thai paramilitary bases and bunkers there.

Hun Sen said Wednesday it was “strange” for a country to employ spies from three different countries and he warned Cambodian officials to be careful traveling to Thailand.

“Thai authorities will arrest him or her to exchange with the two Thai ‘Yellow-Shirt’ activists now detained in Cambodia on espionage charges,” he said.