Saturday, June 13, 2009

June 12, 2009; Cambodia and Thailand Prime Ministers Discussions

PHNOM PENH, June 12 - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen agreed to allow two Thai Muslims convicted of plotting attacks on Western embassies in Phnom Penh in 2004 to serve the rest of their prison terms in Thailand.

The deal was agreed during a meeting between Prime Minister Hun Sen and Thailand Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

The two Thais and a Cambodian, who were linked to the Southeast Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiah, were given life sentences by a Cambodian court in December 2004 for plotting to bomb the U.S. and British embassies in Phnom Penh.

Chiming Abdul Azi, Muhammadyalludin Mading and Cambodian Sman Esma El were found guilty of colluding to attack the missions along with Hambali, the suspected JI mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people.

Hambali remains in U.S. detention since being handed over by Thailand after his capture in the central city of Ayutthaya in 2003.

Cambodians serving prison sentences in Thailand would be returned as part of the deal.

Hun Sen told his Thai counterpart that he would send the two convicted Thais to serve their punishment in Thailand and vice-versa.

The transfers could take some time because Thailand and Cambodia have no extradition agreement.

The two leaders also pledged to settle a long-running dispute over the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple, which has been a source of tension between the two countries for generations.

Cambodia and Thai Prime Ministers agreed that armed conflicts would not take place at the border near the temple.

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