Foreign minister vows to help 2 Thais in Prey Sar

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BANGKOK, 15 August 2011 – Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul has promised to help Thai Patriots Network coordinator Veera Somkwamkid and his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon now detained in Prey Sar prison in Cambodia. 

Mr Surapong stated that the new government is intent on helping the two Thai inmates and will do all it can to do so. He added that concrete measures on how to help the two will be discussed in due course to make sure they are in accordance with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ procedures.

Mr Veera and Ms Ratree have been sentenced to eight and six years in prison respectively for illegal entry, trespassing into military zone and espionage. They were arrested at the end of last year and have been detained in Prey Sar prison since then.

The minister also noted that the proposal to return the passport to ex-Prime Minister Police Lieutenant Colonel Thaksin Shinawatra will be considered carefully and will also be made according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ procedures.

In a related report, Information Department Director-General and Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Thani Thongphakdi announced that the Japanese government has allowed Pol Lt-Col Thaksin to enter Japan on a special basis, but details when he will travel to Japan or which type of visa he will be given remain unknown.