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    Legal Advisor Seeks Release of Seven Thais From Cambodian De


    by NTDTelevision

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    A Thai legal advisor arrives in Cambodia to seek the release of seven Thais detained there. The seven face charges of entering Cambodia illegally and entering a Cambodian military-controlled area without permission.

    Thailand sent a legal advisor to Cambodia on Sunday to seek the release of the seven Thais who were detained for entering a disputed border area and military zone on December 29.

    The legal advisor met with Cambodia's defense lawyers and the Thai ambassador in Phnom Penh.

    [Nataporn Toprayoou, Thai Legal Advisor]:
    "We need to talk to the lawyer here and let them know that we would like to meet the seven Thai detainees."

    It's been arranged for him to meet the detainees on Monday to hear their side of the story.

    Last month, the court charged the seven Thais with offenses which carry a maximum sentence of 18 months.

    At the center of the dispute is the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple -- a nationalist symbol in both countries.

    The International Court of Justice awarded Preah Vihear to Cambodia in 1962 but Thailand lays claim to much of the land surrounding it.

    [Nataporn Toprayoou, Thai Legal Advisor]:
    "Let the court prosecute. We cannot say this person is guilty or that person is not guilty so far as there is no proof of the disputed land belonging to the country. We have to prove this concretely."

    Most of the detainees are members of the People's Alliance for Democracy, or PAD.

    PAD members have whipped up nationalistic sentiment over border disputes with Cambodia at times leading to deadly fighting.