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Media Alert: Lawyers of Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) submitting motion of appeal to the Thai Supreme Court in a case a student facing unfair trial on narcotic charges

For immediate on 25 July 2015

Media Alert: Lawyers of Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) submitting motion of appeal to the Thai Supreme Court in a case a student facing unfair trial on narcotic charges

On Monday 27 July 2015 at 14.00, at the Minburi Provincial Court, lawyers and parents of Mr. Kritsana Phongthong, defendant in the violation of Articles of 4, 7, 15, 66, 100/1 and 102 of the 1979 Narcotics Act will submit a motion of appeal to the Supreme Court. The Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) has been assisting the parents in preparing the motion and would like to invite media and observers to attend the submission of the appeal at the time and date aforementioned.

On 14 February 2013, the arrest and legal action took place against Mr. Kritsana Phongthong, who at the was a fourth-year student in Business Management Faculty and Computer Business major, at a private college and was taking his final examination. According to his university records, he had been behaving well and actively participating in university activities. He had been granted various diplomas of participation and received a GPA of 3.03. If the arrest did not take place, he could have performed very well in his examination with possibility of graduation with an honor degree. Up to date, Mr. Kritsana Phongthong has been incarcerated for over two years and five months since he first arrested and during the investigation, he family was unable to post bail due to their financial restricted . Hence, he has lost a chance to properly prepare his case in defending himself.

He was found guilty by the Court of Lower Instance for violating Articles 15 third paragraph (2) and 66 third paragraph of the 1979 Narcotics Act and sentenced to life imprisonment and a fine of 1,000,000 baht, he appealed the verdict with the Court of Appeals his. The Court of Appeals confirmed the conviction even though the defendant has since the beginning of the case pleaded not guilty and denied having any involvement with the narcotics as alleged in the complaint. His family has been campaigning for justice in his case with various state agencies and media.

Recently, Mr. Kritsana Phongthong, along with another nineteen defendants, submitted complained with the Rights and Liberties Protection Department’s, Bureau of Rights and Liberties Protection, asking for an investigation into the police performance during the arrest and investigation state of their case. The Department has passed on the complaint to the Office of Inspector General for further investigation, the process is still ongoing.

The Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) received a request for legal assistant from Mr. Kamol Phongthong, claiming that his son had been arrested on drug charges and has been unfairly treated by the police during the arrest and investigation. The Court of Appeals has delivered a verdict on his case, and a motion of appeal is to be submitted to the Supreme Court. CrCF has found the defendant and his family are poor and given the high penalty rate, we deem it fit to provide pro bono services.

We hope to help the defendant to have an access to justice process during which the defendant shall be able to fully exercise his right to defend himself. Our lawyers have been tasked to provide help including acquiring relevant evidence and more information of the case. They have commenced the fact-finding process, gone to the crime scene to collect evidence, taken photo of the area where the arrest of the defendant took place during the time. The information were used for preparing the motion of appeal which to be submitted to the Supreme Court. The lawyers and parents of the defendant will submit the appeal at he Provincial Court of Minburi on the aforementioned date and time.

For more information, please contact: Ms. Natthasiri Bergman, 085-120-8077 and Ms. Chanchira Chanphaeo (attorney), 083-907-2032

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