Three young suspects allegedly tortured and forced to confess to charges:
Suspects in robbery of foreign tourists stand trial in the Hua Hin Provincial Court from 13-15 March 2018
Natthawatrainatthawat ‘James’ Thanatthikanchana, defendant no.1 and Mr. Adisak ‘James’ Silamud, defendant no.2 alleged that while being held in custody by the police, they were subjected to physical abuse and forced to confess to committing a robbery. The crime was allegedly committed against an Italian tourist and a Moroccan tourist who have reported the case to the police at the Sam Roi Yod Police Station that the assailants approached them on motorcycles and physically abused them as well as robbed them of their assets on 26 July 2016 by the roadside of Pranburi-Sam Roi Yod highway in Moo 1, Tambon Sam Roi Yod, Sam Roi Yod District, Prachuap Khiri Khan.
During 13-15 March 2018, the Hua Hin Provincial Court took evidence in the Black Case no. TO 2/2560 from one prosecution witness. It was a continuation of the prosecution witness examination that had taken place from 20-23 February 2018. During the hearing, the police investigators presented to the Court a video clip allegedly containing a confession of defendant no. 1. Meanwhile the defense attorneys brought 17 witnesses, including three who were witnesses when the alleged crime took place. They could be an alibi for the three defendants. Another account came from the Village Headman who had helped the tourists after they were physically abused, as well as a forensic science officer from Prachuap Khiri Khan.
In addition, Ms. Pornpen Khongkachonkiet, CRCF’s Director, has given evidence on legal defense accorded to the defendants, and how torture could have been committed without leaving a trace, i.e. by stuffing a plastic bag over someone’s head to induce suffocation.
“Most of torture cases leave no forensic evidence. In reality, the suspects can never have access to independent medical examinations. Blunt force applied to abdominal parts may leave no visible traces. The use of plastic bags to induce suffocation bears the same invisible effect. The taking of evidence in a criminal procedure has to be carried out with extreme carefulness. From a human rights perspective, the confession video is not admissible” said Ms. Pornpen Khongkachonkiet, CRCF’s Director.
During the three-day-witness examination, only six defense witnesses had given their evidence, including witnesses who could support the alibi of the three defendants. To present the whole sequence of the story, lots of corroborating evidence is needed including accounts from eye witnesses. The defense attorneys thus pleaded to the Court asking for an extension of witness examination to cover the three remaining and important witnesses. Having found the evidence of the remaining witnesses important, the Court agreed to postpone the witness examination to 5-6 July 2018 at 9.00 am to take their evidence.
All media and interested persons are invited to attend the hearing or to learn about background of the case from https://crcfthailand.org/?s=สามร้อยยอด .
For more information, please contact;
Ms. Janjira Janpaew, attorney, 0657415395
Mr. Suriyong Khongkraphan, attorney, 0873255877