Jail term reduction, amnesty for Thai activists in Khmer jail : Yingluck

national January 10, 2013 00:00

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Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday confirmed that Cambodia has reduced the prison terms of one of the two Thai activists jailed on espionage charges and granted amnesty to the other.


Yellow-shirt activist Veera Somkwamkid was sentenced to eight years in prison and Ratree Pipattanapaiboon to six years after being arrested along with other Thais on December 2011. The other were freed after a Cambodian court suspended their jail terms. 
Yingluck said the Cambodian government has informed the Thai foreign ministry that yellowshirt activist Veera Somkwamkid’s prison term would be reduced by six months as the first step. When the time comes, Cambodia would be asked to free him, she added.
For Ratree Pipattanapaiboon, amnesty was granted so she would be freed, she said.
The amnesty and the reduction followed a meeting between Yingluck and Hun Sen.
“On behalf of the Thai government, we would like to thank Cambodia for taking care of the cases and granting the amnesty for the benefits of the bilateral relations,” she said.
Earlier Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tohvichakchaikul said on Thursday that Cambodia was prepared to grant amnesty and reduce the prison terms for the Thai pair.
Speaking during an official visit to Pakistan, Surapong said Cambodia would confirm the matter soon.
Khmer media had quoted a Cambodian Foreign Ministry statement as saying that Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen had instructed the Justice Ministry to seek ways of giving amnesty to Veera and Ratree.