BANGKOK, 3 July 2014 – The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has indicated it will send a letter thanking the Cambodian government for the release of political activist Wira Somkhwamkhit, who spent more than 3 years in a Cambodian prison.
According to Colonel Winthai Suwari, the spokesman for the NCPO, Mr. Wira’s release was not in exchange for any Cambodian that was being jailed in Thailand. He added the NCPO was sending a letter to thank the Cambodian government for Mr. Wira’s pardon.
Foreign Affairs Ministry permanent secretary Sihasak Phuangketkaew, meanwhile, asserted the pardon was based on Cambodia’s justice procedure and had nothing to do with exchanges or any particular request by Cambodia.
Justice Ministry Chanchao Chaiyanukit indicated Mr. Wira’s release was a normal case that involved a normal pardon from the Cambodian king. The Justice Ministry is deliberating whether Mr. Wira still needs to serve time in Thailand after receiving the royal pardon from Cambodia.
Mr. Wira arrived in Thailand on Wednesday and was immediately detained by police and taken to the Crime Suppression Division for questioning, for his involvement in the closure of Suvarnabhumi Airport in 2008. He was then granted bail, and told to report to the Crime Suppression Division next Wednesday.