Cambodia will release a Thai "yellow-shirt" activist on February 1 and reduce a six-month prison term for the other in order to mark the cremation of the country's King Father Norodom Sihanouk, Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana said Friday.
The pair is Veera Somkwamkid, one of the leaders of the People's Network against Corruption and a high-profile activist in the Thailand Patriot Network, and his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon.
Cambodian court, on February 1, 2011, convicted Veera and Ratree of illegal entry, unlawful entry into military base and espionage and sentenced them to eight years and six years in jail respectively. They are being jailed in Prey Sar prison on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodian capital.
"We have already prepared to free Ratree on February 1 during the procession of moving King Father Norodom Sihanouk's body from the Royal Palace to the cremation site," Ang Vong Vathana told reporters. "For Veera, we decided to reduce a six-month jail term for him."
"This is Prime Minister Hun Sen's clemency towards the two convicts," he said.
The release and prison-term reduction for the duos are made after Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra requested to her Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen, according to a statement from Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Veera and Ratree were arrested by Cambodian authorities on December 29, 2010, along with five others including Democrat Party Member of Parliament Panich Vikitsreth, after they illegally entered Cambodian territory to observe border demarcation process.
The five were released in late January, 2011 after Cambodian court suspended their sentences of nine months in jail.