A formal reply letter from Bangna Police Station has been issued regarding Andy Hall’s complaint against them as submitted to the National Commander of the Thai Police force and copied to the Thai Ministers of Justice and Foreign Affairs, the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand and the British Ambassador to Thailand. This complaint concerned perceived irregularities in questioning of Andy Hall on 28th Sept 2013 at Bangna Police Station. During questioning, Andy Hall understood police sought to get him to sign a document that turned out to be a confession, a document which he still has in his possession.
Police deny unacceptable behaviour took place during questioning on 28th Sept 2013 in their reply letter (copy available on request). The police reply letter states in detail (summarised) how:
(1) The officer(s) in charge had no relations to either the plaintiff or defendant such to warrant them seeking to unfairly influence the justice process in some way to the detriment of Andy Hall;
(2) The translator was acceptable and, regarding the complaint that he would not identify himself, this letter now provides his full name and his employment status. The translator insists the right not to furnish Andy Hall with his ID card or driving license however;
(3) Officers involved complied with legal requirements to notify Andy Hall of his rights and responsibilities, regardless of translation issues.
(4) The police will now proceed to call Andy Hall formally for a second time for questioning in writing, but this time, as insisted by Andy Hall, they will only call him once they ensure an approved Ministry of Justice translator is present during the questioning to prevent any further claims of misconduct from any side side towards the police and ensure the reliability of the evidence gathered from such questioning.
The following key issues arise from this reply:
(A) Importantly, the reply doesn’t mention the confession statement Andy Hall was asked to sign (available on request), why it was written and why it stated Andy Hall confessed to all charges;
(B) The reply doesn’t mention about what investigation the police did to assess the validity of the case prosecution by NF prior to this stage of calling Andy Hall in for questioning.
(C) Most importantly in terms of legality, the reply doesn’t answer Andy Hall’s question regarding the illegality of the charges filed by NF and their lawyer given the nature of the charges relate to interviews Andy Hall did for Aljazeera in Myanmar and he and his legal research team consider these charges as beyond the jurisdiction of the Thai police force.
Andy Hall continues to be ready to comply with the law and with officers demands should they seek through to call him again with reasonable notice for questioning in the presence of a Ministry of Justice certified translator on this case and the claims against him.
The police also demanded from Andy Hall’s assistant last week prior to replying to this letter evidence of a power of attorney or documents assigning him officially as a lawyer as well as evidence that the Aljazeera interview was conducted in Myanmar. On both points, the concerned officials’ requests seem unacceptable and Andy Hall has denied to furnish such materials. The strict requirements for formally appointing lawyers do not apply to police station questioning stage of a case and its up to the police or NF to gather evidence of where Aljazeera did their interview. It is responsibility of Andy Hall to in forming the case against him.