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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Two Thai spies jailed in Cambodia withdraw Appeal complaint

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- The two Thai "Yellow-Shirt" activists jailed in Cambodia for espionage appeared in the Court of Appeal on Wednesday to withdraw their complaint against the verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court of First Instance.

The pair are Veera Somkwamkid, one of the leaders of the People 's Network against Corruption and a high-profile activist in the Thailand Patriot Network, and his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court of First Instance, on Feb.1, convicted Veera and Ratree of illegal entry, unlawful entry into military base and espionage and sentenced them to eight years and six years in jail respectively.

In later February, the two Thais lodged an appeal against the verdict.

Speaking before the Court of Appeal on Wednesday, the pair said they decided to withdraw the complaint without reason explannation.

Meanwhile, the Appeal Court Judge Samrith Sophal agreed the withdrawal and said that the duo could seek Cambodia's King for royal pardon after they have served two thirds of the jail term.

The duo's appearance in the Court of Appeal was just a day before the visit of Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul to Cambodia.

Speaking to reporters at a short break at the Court, Veera said in the prison, he has been given good care from the guards and inmates, adding that he missed his homeland very much.

Veera and Ratree were arrested on Dec. 29, 2011, along with five others including Democrat Party Member of Parliament Panich Vikitsreth, after they illegally entered Cambodian territory to observe border demarcation process.

The five were released in late January after Cambodian court suspended their sentences of nine months in jail.

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