Health reasons cited in request for release ahead of trial; court has finished investigation, lawyer says
Alleged Thai spy Siwarak Chutipong is scheduled to make a case for his bail on Friday afternoon, four days before the start of his Dec 8 trial, a Phnom Penh court official and Mr Siwarak’s defense lawyer said yesterday.
Mr Siwarak, 31, an engineer for Cambodia Air Traffic Services, was arrested on Nov 12 for allegedly passing former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s flight details to a Thai Embassy official.
A three-judge panel will hear the bail request, lodged last week by defense lawyer Kao Soupha, who cited health concerns due to his client’s prolonged detention as grounds for the release, said Presiding Judge Ke Sakhorn, deputy director of the court.
“The hearing will be on the bail request,” Judge Sakhorn said, declining to talk about the evidence and possible decision that he would make. He also said he will preside over Mr Siwarak’s trial.
Mr Soupha said the court informed him yesterday of the bail hearing.
The court also informed him that the investigation of his client finished a week after his Nov 12 arrest at his Phnom Penh home, Mr Soupha said.
“I hope the court will release my client on bail because the court’s investigation has already been completed,” Mr Soupha said. Mr Siwarak is not a flight risk and will appear at trial if released beforehand, he added.
Mr Soupha said last week that his client had not passed on any secrets but had only informed a Thai Embassy official, five minutes after the fact, that Mr Thaksin’s flight had landed and had photocopied a document on the landing.
The scheduling of the bail hearing follows statements from Mr Thaksin’s legal adviser, who said Mr Thaksin is willing to request leniency for Mr Siwarak if he is found guilty.