Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tunisia revolt spreads to Egypt?...Veera" will not change lawyers: [Thai] MFA

BANGKOK, Jan 26 (MCOT online news) -- Thai Patriots Network coordinator Veera Somkwamkid, fighting illegal entry and espionage charges in Cambodia has opted not to change his legal team but will continue to use the Cambodian lawyers provided by Thai embassy in Phnom Penh, according to Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman.

Information Department director-general Thani Thongphakdi told reporters that Mr Veera has dropped his demand to change lawyers to conduct his legal defense.

However, it is up to Mr Veera to decide himself whether he will ask the court to allow the legal team provided by the Thai Patriots Network to work together with the Cambodian lawyers.

Whatever he decides, the embassy would respect his decision and was ready to support, said Mr Thani.

He added that the embassy also ready to assist Mr Veera if he wanted to petition court to accelerate the trial process and reschedule the judgment from Feb 1 to an earlier date.

Mr Thani reiterated that the ministry won't abandon the remaining two Thais -- Mr Veera, the sole Thai detainee still being held in Prey Sar Prison, and Ratree Pipattanapaiboon, his secretary, and will continue to do all it can to bring the duo back to Thailand as soon as possible.

They faced additional charges of espionage and the court is expected to hand down its on their cases verdict on Feb 1.

The seven Thai citizens including ruling Democrat Party member of parliament Panich Vikitsreth were arrested Dec 29 on charges of trespassing on Cambodian territory.

Mr Panich and four other Thai detainees returned to Bangkok on Jan 22 after the Cambodian court ruled that they were guilty of illegal entry and intentionally trespassing into Cambodian territory. They were sentenced to nine-month suspended jail terms and fines of one million riel (US$250) each.


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