Thailand Asks Cambodia to Repatriate Prisoners

A spokesman for the Justice Ministry said Tuesday that the government was considering a request made by the new Thai ambassador to repatriate seven of the country’s nationals serving prison sentences in Cambodia.

Spokesman Chhin Malin said Thai Ambassador Nuttavuth Photisaro made the request to Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana during a meeting Tuesday.

“There was discussion about transferring Thai prisoners who are in prison in our country, and we discussed the procedures for transferring them so that they serve their time in Thailand,” he said.

Mr. Malin said the ambassador agreed to send background information to Cambodia about the prisoners to help the government make a decision.

“We will study the documents and our procedures, and then will respond with whether we can transfer them and how we will transfer them,” he said.

The spokesman made no mention of the possibility that Thailand might return the favor.

Earlier this month, government officials reported that there were currently 29 Cambodians serving time in Thai jails, many of them for illegal logging.

Cambodia has sent prisoners back to Thailand before, and Phnom Penh accused Bangkok of reneging on a prisoner exchange in 2009.

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