This week there have been more skullduggeries in the case of the Chinese-American millionaire and the young Australian former pupil of the New International School of Bangkok.
This case as we have reported runs in the typical Thai genre of justice – putting the innocent on trial and letting the guilty go on holiday.
We all know the basic story. Jack Hansen-Bartel was in June last year allegedly viciously attacked in the Green Mango Club in Koh Samui, part-owned by a local policeman. Jack had to go through extensive surgery and even more reconstructive surgery to his face.
Raymond Chang and Ryan Wang were duly arrested thanks to other students who witnessed the incident. Wang and Chang seemed to put their hands up – but then they came up with the story that they were Knights in Shining armour going to the rescue of a damsel in distress.
This was Tiffany Turner, a half Japanese half New Zealand young woman who had just finished at the International School of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo. Tiffany was Ryan’s holiday squeeze.
But witnesses and CCTV records told a different story. It shows Jack and Tiffany walking in to the club hand in hand. This was clearly not a person pestering a young lady. Then we see them being approached by Wang and Chang – and at this point Chang says to Jack something along the lines of ‘Leave off this girl – the chick belongs to Ryan!’
Later on Hansel-Bartel was attacked in a cloud of stage smoke. Doctors say that almost certainly a blunt instrument was used.
It should have been an open and shut case until Raymond Nobu Chang flew into town – after which point the National Council for Peace and Order, which promised transparency – well, er, became invisible, and lawyers recommended by the Australian Embassy appeared to take the commission and then work for the other side.
|Raymond Chang (back left) Ryan Wang, back right|
Annie Hansen had to fire her last lawyer after he came to an agreement with the supposed opposition that Jack should stand stand trial for a common assault but he would have to attend his trial and fly in from Australia (the maximum penalty even if he were guilty would be a small fine) while Chang and Wang, who could have been facing an attempted murder case were told they did not have to bother to attend the court on more serious charges of causing grievous bodily harm.
This lawyer came recommended * by the Australian Embassy and also by the British Embassy in the case of teacher Adam Pickles who was attacked in Pattaya. In the Pickles case he was fired too.
|Annie Hansen with Jack|
Rightly suspicious that something was amiss Annie Hansen spoke to the United States FBI wondering whether something could be done under the US Corrupt Practices Act, which applies to bribing of officials overseas.
|Nobu CHang running for cameraman|
Unfortunately this has to be done, according to the FBI, through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty. This has to be done through the Royal Thai Police who said they would – but haven’t.
Makes you wonder who thought up these Corrupt Practices Acts, Britain and Australia have them too – if they require police in Thailand to actually act on them!
Last week however Jack Hansen-Bartel’s new lawyer, who at the moment seems better than most on any Embassy list, went down to Koh Samui court to find that a representative of the fired lawyer was in attendance and talking with the opposition trying to arrange the latest deal.
Further there appeared to be lots of contact between her lawyers and those of Raymond Chang they she did not know about. Of course opposing lawyers need to talk to each other but on this day this person was not even on the case and was still being invited to participate!
There is no doubt that lawyer had been fired. I have seen the correspondence.
What was happening? The Changs had requested that both trials should be held simultaneously and the charges against Raymond Chang should be reduced to a misdemeanor while Ryan Wang copped the lot. (So much for school buddies. I doubt Ryan knows about this). The prosecutor was in on it.
The father of Tiffany Turner has already stated that his daughter would not be giving evidence in the trial.
The new lawyer got there in the nick of time…….Now they will I understand try to introduced the attempted murder charge or re-instate charges relevant to the viciousness of the attack.
|Nobu Chang –
running for office
This case in Koh Samui can really be held up as an example of how justice in Thailand works at its worse and how in reality the country does live in the ‘Dark Ages’
Meanwhile Raymond Nobu Chang, the millionaire father, who made a fortune out of Microsoft and who attended the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and who has helped smooth the path for his son through a retired police general is rumoured to be running for office in the US.
God Bless America.
* No Embassy will take any responsibility for any of the lawyers on their list provided by consular services. They issue a disclaimer to people employing lawyers on the list. But consular officials from both the British Embassy and Australian Embassy are known to have attended this lawyer’s parties….perhaps he represents them!