Cambodia prepares to release Thai female prisoner on Feb 1


BANGKOK, Jan 15 – The Cambodian embassy in Bangkok has informed the Thai Foreign Ministry on arrangements for the release of Ratree Pipattanapaiboon, charged with espionage and illegal entry, on Feb 1.

Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said the foreign ministry was asked to coordinate with Ms Ratree’s family to see if they would travel to Cambodia to welcome her on her release.

The Cambodian authorities will facilitate her relatives while officials at the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh will be there to meet Ms Ratree, he said.

Mr Surapong said Ms Ratri’s freedom is the result of Thailand’s confidential diplomacy with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. Veera Somkwamkid, imprisoned in relation to the same incident, will remain in jail but will have his sentence reduced in the future.

Ms Ratree and Mr Veera were arrested for illegal entry into Cambodia in 2011 and accused of spying on military facilities in Banteay Meanchey province.