Impunity

11 03 2011

One of the truly remarkable aspects of the Thai legal system is the manner in which state officials can have impunity from the law when they are doing the state’s dirty work. This has been demonstrated several times over several decades.

The most recent example involves the disappearance of human rights lawyer Somchai Neelaphaijit in 2004. The Bangkok Post reports that the Appeals Court has acquitted police officer Ngern Thongsuk of the Crime Suppression Division in the case concerning the Somchai’s disappearance.

In early 2006, the “Criminal Court sentenced Pol Maj Ngern to three years imprisonment for forcing others into submission.   The other four officers were acquitted because of lack of witnesses.”

Ngern is claimed by his relatives to have “disappeared after being swept away in a mudslide” in 2008, “following his release on bail.”  After many delays, “the Appeals Court acquitted Pol Maj Ngern of the charges, reasoning that the plaintiffs’ witnesses gave confusing statements which could not convince the court that the CSD officer had committed the offences as charged, giving him the benefit of the doubt.”

It seems there is seldom any justice when it is officials doing the work of the repressive state.


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