Cambodian inmate deported

A Cambodian inmate has been returned to his homeland under a prisoner transfer agreement between Bangkok and Phnom Penh.

The prisoner, whose name and offences were withheld, had been serving a four-year sentence at Bang Khwang Central Prison. The inmate was the first Cambodian prisoner transferred from Thailand under the 2009 agreement.

The prisoner transfer was witnessed yesterday by Cambodian ambassador You Aye and Thai senior foreign ministry officials.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdee said the transfer had nothing to do with simmering tensions which resurfaced following the arrest of seven Thais on charges of illegal entry to Cambodian territory on Dec 29.

Mr Thani said the process had been "worked on for some time".Cambodia transferred three Thai Muslim prisoners last September to Thailand.

The three had been jailed in Cambodia since 2003 for terrorism offences.

Three other Cambodian prisoners presently serving terms in Thailand would be sent home, Mr Thani said. From bangkok


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