A FLYING SPORRAN ENQUIRY - June 19 2012
The case against those who ordered the shooting of a retired U.S. Marine in Hua Hin in Thailand's Prachuap Khiri Kan province in 2008 has allegedly become bogged down in threats, delays, and bribes.
Now nearly four years on Donald Whiting, 68, has called for transparency in the case, fearing he says that the case may fail due to intimidation of witnesses.
In a letter to the Bangkok Post in a plea for coverage of his case Mr.Whiting, (right) who was gunned down when he answered the door to his home in October 2008, says he has received a letter from one his alleged attackers in jail, Yuthana Areesawat, a 40-year-old security guard, who is charged with pulling the trigger.
Yuthana claims that his mother and sister are not safe and that he feared that he alone would now go down for the attempted murder. It’s claimed payment for the ‘hit’ was made through his mother, who allegedly received by bank transfer some 200,000 baht from Janpen Oxley, the wife of Briton Darren Oxley, who fled Britain while on trial in Sheffield, South Yorkshire on drugs charges.
The others arrested were Eakanan Jitmahima, and Samaat Areesawat, who lived in a house provided by Mrs.Oxley, known as 'Sarah', whose brother and also former husband are policemen. 'Sarah' was allowed bail.
Donald Whiting, whose wife Dolly Samson, is Deputy Rector of Stamford International University in Thailand, had been involved in a long running dispute with Darren Oxley, who had sold them a house through his Hua Hin company Oxley Homes.
The row escalated into an internet war in Hua Hin and on the ‘Monsters and Critics’ forum, and was doing damage to Oxley’s profitable new business.
(Rough and rather literal translation)
“Dear Aj. Dolly Samson and Khun Donald Hello, how are you? I would like both of you to write a letter to the government or Khun Abhisit Vejjajiva, Democratic Party leader. Now have a trial run and to give money to bribe the litigation process.
I suggested you to write a letter to Attorney General and the Administrative Court because I and my mother and sister were not safe. Because the people who hire them and find ways to do everything to keep me and my mother and my own account. I'm afraid I will not be safe.
Now the employers have offered money to me. I have some money and keep your records in order to assist you and then hired me to prison. So that he can escape from death in the employ of the court judgment was the only one.
Other or all the defendants escaped from this case. If you received my letter please answer this letter to me immediately. When the fire was a case against the employer and bribery. I go to jail alone. The offenders released and I did not commit".
Above - Yuthana's letter
Prior to the attempted murder which left him paralysed from the neck down after he took six bullets, Donald Whiting’s car had also been firebombed.
After the shooting the then Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and current Democratic Party leader in January 2009 called for resolution of the Whiting case and five others.
The letter to the Bangkok Post – edited for legal reasons
"Dear Editors of the Bangkok Post,
“On January 22, 2009 The Post covered then PM Abhisit’s directive that several criminal cases be solved quickly that were hurting Thailand’s international reputation. One case was the disappearance of human rights lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit, last seen alive in the custody of five police officers of the Crime Suppression Division.
“In a trial all five officers were acquitted on the grounds of insufficient evidence. The Post wrote: ‘as in many high profile cases, several key witnesses were too fearful for their own safety to come forward to testify , eventually resulting in the acquittals’.
“My alleged attempted murder by Mrs. Janpen Oxley, wife of Briton Darren Oxley, (below right) who left his country while still on trial drugs charges, turned property developer, was also one of them.
"The Post ran two stories by Wassayos Ngamkhan, complete with pictures of three arrested assailants (Feb 9, 2009) and Mrs. Oxley, named as the mastermind (Jan 30, 2009).
“The case was due to wrap-up on April 26 but several key witnesses did not appear to testify. Does this sound familiar? The judge has extended the trial for several months and moved the location to three other provinces so these witnesses can be found and made to testify.
“ If they can’t be found, I fear that Mrs. Oxley will be found not guilty by reason of insufficient evidence, just as in the Somchai case.
“ I received a letter from Yutthana, the confessed shooter who charges that there are attempts to corrupt the court into finding Mrs Oxley not guilty; that (edit) he has been paid to take the rap and they have threatened his mother, sister and their families with harm if they testify against Mrs. Oxley.
"I have this letter in my possession with the envelope it came in. You may view it, if you are interested.
“I have enlisted the help of the US Embassy to find out what are the judges intentions in moving the venues of testimony to three other provinces. I do not intend to roll over and let my (edit) attackers get away. I am paralyzed from the waist down and am in pain all day when not drugged up on medications.
“I will be writing Secretary of State Clinton if the chief judge does not supply some reasonable answers".