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A Cambodian court has sentenced two citizens of Thailand for trespassing and spying. The verdict could increase tensions on the militarized Thai-Cambodia border.
On Tuesday, a Cambodian court handed down jail terms of eight and six years to two Thai activists who were found guilty of trespassing and spying. The verdict could raise political tension in neighboring Thailand.
The decision could add momentum to a small but prolonged protest by Thailand's "yellow shirt" activists. They're angered by Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's diplomatic approach to dealing with a long-running border dispute with Cambodia.
The Cambodian court verdict also raises concerns about instability along the militarized border between the two countries. Both governments have had heated rows in recent years that have led to deadly skirmishes between troops.
Cambodian soldiers arrested seven Thais on December 29th, when they entered a disputed border area.
The leader of a splinter faction of the yellow shirts, and his secretary were among them.
The court in Phnom Penh sentenced the leader to eight years and the secretary to six years.
The five other arrested Thais included a parliamentarian from Prime Minister Abhisit's ruling Democrat party. They were found guilty of trespassing late last month and were released after being given a suspended sentence.