JANUARY 5 2011 23:29h
Thais call Cambodia crossing an accident
The seven, including Parliament member Panich Vikitsreth and the leader of the Thai Patriots Network, Veera Somkwamkid, were arrested by Cambodian troops Dec. 29 near the village of Nong Jan.
The trial is to begin Thursday and is expected to be short, Thai officials told the Bangkok Post.
Lawyers appointed by the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh will defend the seven, Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said. They will contend the suspects were inspecting land owned by Thais next to the border, and will cite video evidence.
The Foreign Ministry will ask the court to release the defendants on bail, Kasit said.
The seven will need to admit trespassing since the Thai military inspected the scene and found they had crossed a few yards into Cambodia.
Thai diplomat Adisorn Pokmontri said both governments want to settle the case amicably.
Seven members of the Thai Patriots Network were allowed to visit the disputed border area Wednesday despite opposition from local residents who said they were hurting good relations with their Cambodian neighbors.
BANGKOK, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Seven Thais arrested by Cambodia at the border will say they crossed by accident, Thailand's foreign minister said Wednesday.