It is a long holiday weekend in Cambodia and the seven detained Thais seem certain to spend it in prison.
Yellow shirt activist Veera Somkhwamkid, left, and Democrat Party MP Panich Vikitsreth, right, appear at Phnom Penh Municipal Court. They face charges of crossing into Cambodian territory illegally and entering a military area. AFP
Thai seven face a long wait for bail
Intrusion not intended, Panich informs hearing
Bangkok Post and DPA
Seven Thais arrested in Cambodia for trespassing will be detained at least until Monday as they wait to apply for bail.
Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdi said yesterday bail requests were expected to be made on Monday because today was a holiday in Cambodia. Consideration of bail has to be decided within five days of the request being made, he said.
The government has ordered officials to seek bail for the group arrested by Cambodian soldiers on Dec29 after they crossed the border at Khok Sung district in Sa Kaeo and entered Cambodia's Banteay Meanchey province.
The group include former vice minister for foreign affairs Panich Vikitsreth and Veera Somkwamkid, a leading member of the People's Alliance for Democracy. Mr Panich is now a Democrat MP for Bangkok.
They appeared yesterday before the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, which is considering whether to look into charges that the seven entered Cambodia illegally and unlawfully entered a military base. The charges carry a combined maximum jail sentence of 18 months.
Mr Thani denied that some of the seven also were facing charges of espionage. The Foreign Ministry had been informed of just two charges, he said.
The seven are being held at Prey Sar prison on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.
The accused said nothing as they were led into the courtroom for yesterday's preliminary hearing, which was closed to reporters. No date has been set for their trial.
Mr Panich was examined first when proceedings opened at 8am, followed by two women identified as Narumon Chitvarattana and RatreePipattanapaiboon. Mr Veera and the three others were examined later in the day.
The examinations ended last night.
Mr Panich told the court he had "unintentionally" crossed into Cambodia, his Cambodian lawyer, Ros Aun, said.
"The purpose of his visit to the border was to address the complaints of [Thai] villagers," Ros Aun said, adding the villagers claimed a border marker had been moved by Cambodians and encroached on Thai territory.
In addition to seeking bail for the seven men and women, the government wants to settle the case in a way that will not affect relations between the two countries.
Cambodian Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said yesterday Mr Panich's case was "separate from our diplomatic relations".
He declined to speculate on whether the group would be granted bail or whether Prime Minister Hun Sen would request a pardon for them if they are convicted.
"Right now, it's in the hands of the court, so we cannot say any more than that," he said.
PAD leader Chamlong Srimuang insisted yesterday the government must strongly protest to Phnom Penh that the arrests were inappropriate.
He criticised the government for admitting the group had illegally entered Cambodian territory. It was a serious mistake to make accusations against fellow Thais, Maj Gen Chamlong said.
He insisted the group had been arrested in Thai territory because some Thais held title deeds over land in the area. But the Royal Thai Survey Department on Wednesday confirmed that the group was 55 metres inside Cambodia when arrested.
activist – someone who takes part in activities that are intended to achieve political or social change, especially someone who is a member of an organisation นักกิจกรรม
charge – an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime ข้อหา
territory – an area of land controlled by a particular country, leader or army อาณาบริเวณ อาณาเขตประเทศ
illegally – in a way that is against the law อย่างผิดกฎหมาย
face – to (likely or possibly) have to deal with a problem เผชิญ, พบ, เจอ
bail – money that is given to a court when someone is allowed to stay out of prison until their trial. If they do not return for the trial, the court keeps the money เงินประกัน; การประกันตัว
intrusion – when someone goes into a place or situation where they are not wanted or expected to be การบุกรุก, การล่วงล้ำ
intended – planned; wanted to happen ที่ได้วางแผนไว้ ที่ตั้งใจให้เกิดขึ้น
inform – to tell somebody about something, especially in an official way แจ้งให้ทราบ
trespassing – going onto someone's land or enter their building without permission การบุกรุก,การรุกล้ำ
detained – kept in a place and not allowed to leave กักตัว ควบคุมตัวหรือฝากขัง
apply – to make a formal request for permission to do or have something ขอ
arrest – (of the police or, in this case, soldiers) to take someone under control because they are believed to have committed a crime จับกุม
border – the official line separating two areas, regions or countries เขตแดน อาณาเขต
vice minister – a person whose position ranks lower than a government minister ผู้ช่วยรัฐมนตรีประจำ
People’s Alliance for Democracy – the union of several groups protesting against the past government and which staged large protests against the Thaksin government as well พันธมิตรประชาชนเพื่อประชาธิปไตย
municipal – of a town, city or district with its own local government เทศบาล
unlawful – against the law ไม่ชอบด้วยกฎหมาย, ผิดกฎหมาย
combined – counted together รวมกัน
maximum – the most possible ที่สูงสุด ที่มากที่สุด
sentence – a punishment given by a court of law การตัดสินลงโทษ
deny – to say that something is not true or does not exist ปฏิเสธ
espionage – the activity of secretly getting important political or military information about another country or of finding out another company's secrets by using spies จารกรรม
outskirts – the areas at the edge of a city ชานเมือง
preliminary – coming before the main or most important part of something เบื้องต้น, ขั้นต้น, ขั้นแรก
trial – the process of examining a case in a court of law and deciding whether someone has or has not committed a crime การพิจารณาคดี
proceedings – the actions taken, usually in court, to settle a legal matter การดำเนินการ
identified – named ระบุชื่อ
unintentionally – not deliberate or planned อย่างไม่ตั้งใจ
lawyer – an attorney ทนาย
address – to deal with a problem จัดการปัญหา
complaint – when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory การร้องเรียน
encroach – to gradually cover more and more of an area of land บุกรุก, ล่วงล้ำ
settle – to reach a decision or an agreement about something, or to end a disagreement แก้ปัญหา
diplomatic – relating to relations between countries เกี่ยวกับการทูต
decline – to say politely that you will not accept something or do something ปฏิเสธ
speculate – to consider or discuss what might happen คาดการณ์ อนุมาน
grant – to officially give something ให้
pardon – an official decision to forgive someone for committing a crime and to free them from punishment การอภัยโทษ การนิรโทษกรรม
convicted – having been proven guilty of a crime by a court of law ได้รับการพิสูจน์ว่ามีความผิดจริง
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
protest – to make a strong complaint ประท้วง
inappropriate – unsuitable ซึ่งไม่เหมาะสม
admit – to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it ยอมรับ
accusation –a statement that someone has done something wrong or illegal even though this has not been proved ข้อกล่าวหา
fellow – used for talking about people who are similar to you or are in the same situation เพื่อนร่วมชะตากรรม
title deed – a land ownership paper โฉนด