Jailed Veera's wife seeks PM's help

The wife of Thai Patriots Network activist Veera Somkwamkid has sought help from Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to secure the release of her husband, who has been serving a sentence in Prey Sar prison in Phnom Penh for nearly three years.

Ms Yingluck said before attending Tuesday's cabinet meeting that she had received a letter from Mrs Phit-ampai, Veera's wife, asking her to help her husband by submitting a request for a royal pardon, a reduction of his prison term or the transfer of Veera to serve the remainder of his sentence in Thailand through a prisoner  swap.

Mrs Phit-ampai, in seeking help from the prime minister, cited Ms Yingluck's personal relations with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and the good relations between Thailand and Cambodia.

The prime minister said she would take steps to help Veera after the formation of the new government of Cambodia has been completed.

She would also coordinate with Cambodia to enable Veera's family to visit him in Cambodia.

Veera, his secretary Ratree Pipattanapaiboon, and five other Thais were arrested by Cambodian officials on Dec 29, 2010 while inspecting land in a disputed border area near Ban Nong Chan in Sa Kaeo's Khok Sung district.

Veera was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment and  Ratree to six years for illegally entering Cambodia and spying. The others were released earlier because they admitted to the charges of illegal entry.

Veera had previously been arrested for illegal entry to Cambodia and released with a warning not to do it again.

Ratree was released from the prison on Feb 1 after receiving a royal pardon on the occasion of the funeral of Cambodia's king Sihanouk.

Veera's jail term was reduced by six months.

Related search: Veera Somkwamkid, Thai-Cambodia relations, Thai Patriots network, Prey Sar prison

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