Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Undeterred by crisis, Russian tourists flood Thailand

Jotman reader Sanjuro writes:
I read in the Kommersant that Russian tourists are still arriving in Thailand in large numbers, apparently using the military airport Utapao near Pataya... Business as usual for some.
Are they coming to rescue Victor Bout?

Legendary arms dealer Victor Bout, presently locked up in a Bangkok jail, faces extradition hearings at the end of December. Whereas the Americans want him extradited to the US, Russia has voiced objections to the US request. Sanjuro recently translated a rare interview with Bout for Jotman readers.

1 comment:

  1. seems like Thai courts are trying to delay the charges against Bout indefinitely. here is the latest update, Mon Dec 22nd :


    apparently there was nothing substantial said. perhaps Thais think that by delaying this case they can sort of make it "fade away" and quietly extradite him to US ? say, like those New Year bombings in Bangkok (2006/2007) - so far nobody was charged or jailed. or perhaps as PAD for their acts of hijacking 2 international airports (never mind GH).

    well, lets see if this time Thai will make some decision:

    "The extradition hearing will continue Tuesday and is expected to finish this week. A ruling is not immediately expected. "
    - hahaha ! I knew it. Thais WILL try to make it "fade away". :)

    let's see on Tue - that is Dec 23rd I guess.

    "Proceedings in the Thai courts began in June but have been delayed by repeated changes to the defence legal team. The judge wants to complete the hearing by Christmas Evebut Mr Bout's lawyers have requested more time to call further witnesses. "

    as I recall previously it was mentioned that Thai laws allow to hold without charges for around 182 days, not more ? although since March 6th when he was arrested till now it has been already what - 9 months? if he was a pregnant woman who conceived at that time - he could already deliver a baby ! LOL
    9 months without charges - it is quite a lot.

    but hey, with the current so called "rule of law" in Thailand - there is nothing to be surprised about !

    meanwhile it was mentioned that this first hearing lasted 12 hours - a record in the history of Thai Courts.
    reportedly Court does the hearing on two simultaneous parallel cases: about Bout's extradition to US and ... about whether his arrest was legal at all.

    on Sep 19th Russian Duma has made a statement demanding return of Bout back to Russia.

    "Bangkok's Criminal Court has said it expects the hearing to wrap up Wednesday but one of Bout's defense attorneys, Preecha Prasertsak, said he planned to seek an extension to locate more witnesses...
    The original arrest warrant issued in Thailand was based on a charge of using the country as a base to negotiate a weapons deal with terrorists. But that charge was dropped in April and a second arrest warrant issued asking for his extradition to the United States.

    Prosecutor Sanchai Krungkanjana has said the first arrest warrant had been dropped because ''there was insufficient evidence in Thailand'' but there was enough evidence in the U.S. to approve Bout's extradition."

    ( http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2008/12/21/world/AP-AS-Thailand-US-Arms-Dealer.html?_r=1 )

    taking into consideration Thai Courts recent speedy (or hasty?) verdicts on other matters, when it was said "there is no need for further evidences" (latest PPP dissolution case) - I guess Bout will be sent to US after all. it will be interesting what will happen then - how Russia will deal with US then.


    Thai jail is great for slimming ! on his latest photos looks like he's lost a lot of belly fat since his arrest. even his face looks longer than rounder as previously. although I would rather remain obese than take their slimming course! :)



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