Hun Sen Rejects Thai Media Reports of Prisoner ‘Swap’

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday said reports in the Thai media of a prisoner swap between Thailand and Cambodia were wrong, even though the recent release and promised release of prisoners in each country had all the signs of a tit-for-tat exchange.

On Tuesday, Thai nationalist activist Veera Somkwamkid—who in 2010 was sentenced in Phnom Penh to eight years in jail for illegally entering Cambodia and spying—was set free following a royal pardon.

Hours after he landed in Bangkok the next day, Thailand announced its plans to release 14 Cambodians recently arrested for holding falsified visas.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said Thursday that Cambodia “expect[s] that they will be released tomorrow.”

Mr. Hun Sen, speaking Thursday at an event to launch the government’s 2014 to 2018 National Disability Strategic Plan, insisted that Thai media reports of a prisoner swap were incorrect.

“It was not an exchange, it was not a swap…. We released without any condition,” the prime minister said.

sovuthy@cambodiadaily.com

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