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Two Detained Thais Released on Bail

Panich Vikitsreth, center, a member of Thailand's Parliament , is escorted by Cambodian court security personnel upon his workout at Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday.

Two detained Thais were released on bail Thursday while two more have been additionally charged with espionage along with illegal border crossing.

Thai lawmaker Panich Vikitsreth and a second member of the seven arrested in December, Narumol Jitrawarattana, were released after they paid about $250 each, court officials said.

“They will stay in Cambodia,” said Ros Aun, a defense lawyer.

Five more—four men and one woman—remain in custody, despite requests for bail. All seven are charged with illegally crossing into Cambodia and trespassing in a military area, after they reportedly arrived to inspect claims of Cambodian border encroachment. Those charges carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison.

Sok Roeun, deputy prosecutor for Phnom Penh Municipal Court, confirmed the bail release, but said the defendants would remain “under the control of the court.”

Meanwhile, Thai activist Veera Somkwamkid and his secretary, Ratree Pipatanapaiboon, faced questioning Wednesday on additional charges of gathering information that could threaten national security. That charge carries a potential sentence of 10 years in prison.