What really happened in Cambodia.

The word “really” in the title means I have no evidence to support what I’m about to say.

After withdrawal of ambassadors initiated by Thailand Hun Sen wanted to strike at Thai diplomats and focused on the next highest rank, the First Secretary. Sifting through their wiretapping data Cambodians discovered a few calls made by Kamrob to Siwarak.

It took them a day to put the plan together and next morning Hun Sen went ahead full steam. If there was any setup, as debated in Thai media now, it was a setup against Kamrob. His phone calls were incriminating and Siwarak was just a collateral damage. They didn’t really think it through, though – Kamrob was expelled and that was the end of it but Siwarak’s case lingered for nearly a month and made them look like cartoon Madagascar, run by King Julian, and everything in this trial reeked of incompetence and cheap soap, especially the grand finale. Kamrob was the original target there, not Siwarak.

They got Siwarak’s confession right away (probably thanks to the record of the phone calls) but when Phua Thai publicly announced they had a tape on Kamrob Cambodians realized they can’t admit spying on Thai diplomats, Kamrob is gone anyway, and they can’t take this tape to the court either, and they have no other evidence, and, theoretically, if the defense argued that the evidence against their client was obtained illegally they would have no answer. That’s where changing lawyers was very handy indeed. That probably explains why the new, Phua Thai approved lawyer, went for denial of all charges, having nothing to lose as pardon was imminent one way or another.

During all this time Thaksin and Co. simply milked Siwarak’s fate for all publicity they could squeeze. He was never a real target and not a part of any conspiracy, even though his dead father’s connection to Thaksin had been spun into repayment of old debts and his mother was painted a red shirt – it was just talking up whatever little they had to rely on.

Just look at Chavalit’s attempt at drafting a pardon plea – it wasn’t even accepted by Cambodians, they had their own sweet something going on with Thaksin and it moved a lot faster.

They all walked out smiling anyway, they thought they put on a good show and public liked it. The idea that they had to at least pretend that they are civilized people living in a society ruled by law and justice didn’t even entered their heads. Hun Sen probably wants to prove just the opposite, that he wields absolute power and runs the whole country on a whim. “Underdeveloped” would be an understatement there.

Kamrob’s involvement, however, refuses to go away and now PTP wants to use it their upcoming censure debate. Let’s see, they won’t be incriminating themselves but Hun Sen might feel uncomfortable if they bring his wiretapping into Thai parliament debate. They would probably be made into minced meat anyway, if they challenge Thai embassy’s right to know about the movements of Thai fugitives abroad, or that what Siwarak had disclosed during the trial constituted any kind of spying – they would need evidence to proof that Kamrob asked for substantially more, classified information, to accuse him of putting Siwarak in harm’s way.

Both Kasit and Abhisit came out in public and made sure that without admitting to spying on Kamrob neither Cambodia nor PTP have anything to go on. Thais know very well that the call was recorded, and, perhaps, a lot more information had been passed, and they also know that their adversaries can’t do anything about it. Thais have put out a list of demands for normalizing relationships and Cambodians realized that they played their “Spying Kamrob” ace already and got nothing for it. So they are hissing about Preah Vihear and sending Thai ambassador back first. Great game – what if Abhisit plays along, what they would do in return? Fire Thaksin? They’ve got nothing else left to offer.

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