No spy exchange with Thailand: Cambodian PM

Updated: 2011-06-15 12:51
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PHNOM PENH - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Wednesday that there will be impossible to exchange the two Thai "Yellow Shirt" activists being jailed in Cambodia with a recently arrested Cambodian by Thailand.

"It's absolutely no way to exchange the two Thai activists with the arrested Cambodian," he told a graduation ceremony at the Technical School of Medicine. "Thailand can proceed the case of the arrested Cambodian man according to Thai legal system."

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The premier's remarks came after Thai foreign minister Kasit Piromya said on Saturday that the Thai government is willing to exchange the arrested Cambodian and the Vietnamese with two Thai " Yellow Shirt" activists now detained in Cambodia on espionage charges.

Cambodian court, on February 1, convicted Veera Somkwamkid, a high- profile activist in the Thailand Patriot Network, and his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon of illegal entry, unlawful entry into military base and espionage and sentenced them to 8 years and 6 years in jail respectively.  

On Tuesday last week, Thai police and paramilitary soldiers arrested three men: a Thai national Suchart Muhammad, 32, Ung Kimtai, 43 from Cambodia, and Wiang Tengyang, 37 from Vietnam for "spying" along the Thai-Cambodian border in Si Sa Ket province.

Hun Sen reiterated that the "spy" arrest was "fabricated".

Cambodia and Thailand has border conflict just a week after Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple was enlisted as a World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008.

Thailand claims the ownership of 4.6 square kilometers of scrub next to the temple.

Since then, both sides have built up military forces along the border and periodic clashes have happened, resulted in the deaths of troops and civilians on both sides.