Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Tortured 'Narong' over the Kirsty Jones murder
'Do it for Thailand'
As the controversy continues over who was responsible for the murders of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on Koh Tao, and police close ranks on their now sealed inquiry, questions are now being asked as to whether Thai Police can still get away with some rather old tricks.

Writer James Farrell argues on Asian Correspondent that in essence police have tried to cover up and screwed up too many times.  There in an entrenched view abroad especially in the UK that the current Burmese suspects are scapegoats because ‘that’s what the Thai police do.”

And as far as Thai justice is concerned the perception of it abroad is no better, but to date all these matters have not really affected tourism as holidaymakers always think it is something that happens to someone else.

Farrell, who used to work on the Chiang Mai City Life and Chiang Mai City News is of course aware of all the police cover-ups and attempted fit-ups in the Kirsty Jones murder.

“A few years after the Kirsty Jones murder in 2000 I interviewed a hilltribe man who had been used, unsuccessfully, as the scapegoat blamed for the murder of the Welsh girl.

“During the interview he told me the police, while torturing him, had said, ‘This is for Thailand’. It was his debt to the country, they told him, for being allowed to live here. His confession was for the greater good of the country,” writes Farrell.

He also interviewed the lawyer for two scapegoats who took the blame for the murder of Australian businessman Michael Wansley in 1999. Wansley had been auditing rice mills and found serious discrepancies in account.  The alleged mastermind – a man of influence – was untouched.

The case was a veritable mish mash of Thai mafia activities

 “I knew from the first time I saw the case that they were innocent. I also knew that at the time the police were under tremendous pressure to get an arrest. You must understand that it is not always the fault of the police, they are told from above that they must find the culprits as crimes like this look bad for Thailand and for tourism; so that is what they do, they find someone and get a confession.”

Here’s the link to James Farrell’s piece. It's worth being reminded of a little history.