Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013
7
COURT WILL HAVE TO MAKE LANDMARK DECISION

The lawyer for Chumpol Khaonuang, 32, has asked a Thai court to order the Dutch model victim of an alleged rape in Krabi to return to Thailand to give evidence.

He claims that Khaonuang, who was convicted of murder when he was 17 and jailed for nine years, will not get a fair trial unless the young woman, a 19-year old Dutch model from Amsterdam can be cross examined.

The woman gave evidence at an emergency court hearing before she returned to the Netherlands. There was indeed no cross examination.

The judges adjourned to discuss the problem and said they would reach a decision within two weeks.

Word from Amsterdam is that the young model is unlikely to return.

Infuriated by the alleged action of local police in failing to catch Khaonuang for a long period; and infuriated that he then got bail, and further infuriated by a police officer’s statement that as the girl had gone to dinner with him how could she complain, the father a musician is also unhappy about the way the trial is being conducted.

Police compounded their public relations problem by issuing a blurred CCTV picture which they say shows the Dutch woman holding hands with Chumpol - a fact which she strongly denies.


A policeman failed to show up as a witness and at the last hearing and the wrong doctor appeared to give medical evidence. The court summonsed the doctor who signed off the medical report of injuries to the Dutch woman, who said she was raped by Khaonuang after she accepted his lift home after her 19th birthday bash in a pub in Ao Nang, Krabi.

The witness the court required was the doctor who actually carried out the medical examination not his boss.

The case is now known as 'The Evil Man in Krabi' case after the father put out a video on YouTube. His musical video became viral on YouTube and has had over half a million hits


The case was adjourned and two new dates have been set November 6th and November 16th

Comment: 
Chumpol

The issue is a difficult one. Foreign victims of rape and very serious crimes in Thailand have been given the opportunity to testify at special hearings, so they can go home and let the courts decided after they have gone.

But how can the courts refuse a defendant the right to cross examine his accuser? At this stage he had not even been apprehended. If the judges rule that the young woman returns, then these special court hearings will have no validity. 

In short there will be no mechanism to give justice to victims of rape in Thailand. Trials in Thailand can take years sitting one day a month. The Thai courts to not award costs. What rape victim is going to spend, or even has to sped ends of thousands of dollars, to go back for her own cross examination and attend the trial?

Foreign Embassies would have to issue travel advisories to female tourists. Do not talk to Thai men? Do not eat with Thai men.

If they rule that the woman does not need to return the accused will not have a fair trial. 

Thai criminal law is based on British law studied by Prince Rapee in the U.K. This however has been considerably changed in its adoption by the Thai Ministry of Justice. Mentioning his conviction would for instance be illegal in the UK while he was awaiting trial.




7 comments:

  1. Even if he had been apprehended and the lawyer given the right to cross examine, the case would have been adjourned, adjourned, and adjourned. Given the extent of the misinformation and cockups early on, it was clear where all this was heading.

    The fairest solution would be for the Thai authorities, as they had rushed the original hearing, to pay the airfare for her return and guarantee her safe passage from Thailand after the trial. The case would go on for years and that arrangement would not be sustainable. She could hardly come back every year for the foreseeable future. They know that. She can't win. Look at the Kristy Jones case. 13 years

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  3. "Foreign Embassies would have to issue travel advisories to female tourists. Do not talk to Thai men? Do not eat with Thai men".

    Women can and do obtain that advice from Thai women here although not too many Thai women need to be reminded. It's advice I've heard given by Thai women even to Farang men, myself included.

    Obviously foreigners don't have the family support to fall back on here when bad thing's happen. I have no doubt had this happened to a Thai woman eminating from a good family thing's would have been dealt with far differently.

    Saying that, surprise, surprise Thai women understand the dangers of LOS far better than tourists, in fact far better than many of the farang men holidaying and some who have lived here for years.

    Living in the LOS sunshine, absorbing beautiful scenery, eating delicious food tends to dull one's senses to the possible dangers in LOS. Alcohol and drugs are cheap and easily obtained here making a dangerous environment much more so.

    Kathoey's (bless them) are famous for having the ability to enhance the loving feeling's of holidaying and resident farang's here, many of those chosen awaken the next morning to discover anything of value missing (However, I do not speak from experience but I've met many who do).

    There's no easy fix here or anywhere else for the dangers that exist to young women, but I have to question the wisdom of having a convicted murderer employed as a tourist guide, maybe something got lost in the translation of his CV?

    The landmark decision the court has to make if they decide the accused has the right to cross examine is simple, use a video link, believe it or not its been done before!

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  4. Are we sure that Thailand (prosecution) would not pick up the cost of her to testify (flight, hotel...)? I don't believe that any government is forced to do this but know in the US the Prosecutors will pick up the cost if they are eager for a conviction. Guilty or not, it would be wrong to convict him without the ability to cross exam the accuser.

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    1. TIT and nothing like the USA, UK, etc. cease to compare Thailand with any other country. Simply put Thailand and Thais do thing's differently.

      When any fa-rang gives evidence in court the questions and replies are translated from English (or the native language chosen by the fa-rang) into Thai and then Thai to English.

      "Sounds simple enough", I hear you say, unfortunately it isn't.

      Unfortunately...the statements given are heard by the court with long and frequent pauses. Sometimes questions put directly to the witness are incoherent due to grammar differences. So with confusing pauses and frequent queries its not an easy situation.

      Single sentence translations lead to long delays,possibly confusing the witness and can also confuse the translator. Thai courts appear to the fa-rang much more informal than Western courts but there is a strict protocol to be followed which again as fa-rang's we innocently and unintentionally fail to observe.

      Giving evidence becomes a disjointed affair, conversations do not flow fluently as would be expected in a normal everyday English discussion. Add additional queries, cross conversations, legal questions which may be raised and the situation becomes even more complex and disjointed.

      Giving evidence I would expect to have lasted one hour possibly less in the USA or UK took four to five hours in a Thai court.

      The evidence is recorded by a court stenographer and the clarity of that evidence hinges solely on the skills of the translator and the stenographers recordings who also has to closely follow a difficult and disjointed hearing.

      Depending on the case you may or may not be given immediate access to the stenographers court notes (probably not) and if you are those notes have to be translated back into English.

      In the court translation (and now it's being reverse translated back into fa-rang speak) likely further errors will be apparent hence complicating the situation even further, are we getting the picture now???

      Easy it is NOT, hence the common saying "something must have gotten lost in the translation" Andrea's had enough court experience to explain this far more succinctly than I can.

      Getting back to the subject in hand...imagine trying to have a simple and informal conversation with someone when you have to stop speaking and pause after each sentence, sometimes for several minutes while waiting for your previous sentence to be translated, possibly misunderstood and queried.

      After which try to resume succinctly from where you were halted, assuming that is there were no interjecting questions raised by the judges or rephrased questions asked by the lawyers, try this for a few minutes not hours at a time and you'll realise it isn't easy.

      I've repeated below a paragraph from my previous post which contains a simple, efficient cost effective solution for any fa-rang needing to give evidence in a Thai case, the clue is "video link" and even then giving evidence will be far from simple.

      However saying that I believe the value would be in having a recording of the evidence given by the fa-rang which could be closely studied after the case. Something which the Thai courts may not be too eager to experience?

      From my previous post...
      "The landmark decision the court has to make if they decide the accused has the right to cross examine is simple, use a video link, believe it or not its been done before!"

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    2. Thailand neither wants nor needs to. They don't follow western concepts, they are a sovereign state.

      Thai women would be more cautious than foreigners and so avoid such incidents but they can also be victims. The attitude of their families is to walk away from it and not create waves. Thais are aware of and are part of the way feudal hierarchy operates. In Edwardian England rapes and murders were never prosecuted where the elite were involved. Thailand is similar.

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  5. Oh Dear, well it's true what I said but I understand AD, you have to keep the site open.

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