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Mistaken identity? (updated)

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Is one identical twin in jail for a crime committed by the other? That’s what the twins and their mother are saying, but the police say no. 

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Boonkerd Ounwong, left, takes her son Anek, right, to Pratunam Chulalongkorn police station in Pathum Thani to face assault charges. Mr Anek claimed that his twin brother, Anont, was mistakenly found guilty and sent to jail for a crime he committed. PONGPAT WONGYALA

Saturday morning update

The Justice Ministry will seek bail for Anont Ounwong whom his twin brother and mother insist was wrongly arrested and sentenced to four years in jail for a crime committed by his brother Anek.

Kasem Kanthamanee, a lawyer with the ministry's Justice Fund said yesterday the ministry would apply for bail for Anont so he could prepare to fight his case in the Supreme Court.

The ministry will contact the Central Institute of Forensic Science to help distinguish between Anont and his identical twin brother, Mr Anek.

The result will serve as new evidence for the judge to decide which one of the twins was actually involved in an attack over three years ago, Mr Kasem said.

bail – money that is given to a court when someone is allowed to stay out of prison until their trial. If they do not return for the trial, the court keeps the money  เงินประกัน; การประกันตัว
twin– one of two children born at the same time to the same mother แฝด,  ฝาแฝด
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
arrested – (of the police) to take someone to a police station because they are believed to have committed a crime จับกุมsentenced– (of a court of law) to give a punishment ลงโทษ
commit – to do something wrong or illegal ทำความผิด
fund – money provided for something เงินทุน กองทุน
supreme court – the highest court in a country ศาลฎีกา, ศาลสูงสุด
forensic science – the use of scientific methods to solve  crimes or to find out why something happened นิติวิทยาศาสตร์
distinguish – to recognise the difference between two people or things จำแนกความแตกต่าง, แยกแยะ
identical twin – twins who look exactly like each other แฝดร่วมไข่, แฝดเหมือน
evidence– information that is used in court to try to prove something หลักฐานประกอบการไต่สวนคดี หรือพิจารณาคดี

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Mistaken identity?

An unusual crime story is getting a lot of attention in the Thai-language media.

Back in 2010 an assault was committed. Police from Pratunam Chulalongkorn station in Pathum Thani arrested and charged Anont Ounwong. He fit the description of the assailant and a court later sentenced him to four years in jail.

Police were apparently unaware that Anont had an identical twin brother Anek who disappeared immediately after the crime.

When informed by the twins' mother, Boonkerd Ounwong, that Anek was responsible for the crime, they refused to act, saying  police charges against Anont were based on sound evidence.

Last week, Anek finally returned home to find out his brother had spent 14 months in jail for a crime he now says he committed.

On Tuesday, Anek went to Pratunam Chulalongkorn station and told police his twin brother Anont had been mistakenly arrested.

However, the police are still refusing to admit that they arrested the wrong man.

Moreover, Pol Maj Gen Kamronwit Thoopkrachang, acting chief of Provincial Police Region 1, yesterday told Pratunam Chulalongkorn station to sue Ms Boonkerd for defaming the officers  by claiming they had demanded 500,000 baht in "legal fees" from her.

Mr Anek and Ms Boonkerd yesterday petitioned the ombudsman Sriracha Charoenpanich to review the case, which he described as "out of the ordinary".

His staff will now contact prosecutors responsible for the case and the police. Mr Sriracha warned Mr Anek and Ms Boonkerd to exercise caution and not to leave their house alone.

Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post.

assault – attacking someone violently  การทำร้ายร่างกาย
charge – an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime ข้อหา
claim – saying that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it ข้ออ้าง ข้อกล่าวหา
twins – two children born at the same time to the same mother แฝด,  ฝาแฝด
identical twins – twins who look exactly like each other แฝดร่วมไข่, แฝดเหมือน
found guilty – convicted; having been proven to have committed a crime by a court of law ได้รับการพิสูจน์ว่ามีความผิดจริง
commit – to do something wrong or illegal ทำความผิด
identity – who or what somebody/something is  ชื่อ เอกลักษณ์
media – newspapers, television, radio, etc. สื่อ
arrested – (of the police) to take someone to a police station because they are believed to have committed a crime จับกุม
fit – to be the right size; to agree with, match or be suitable for something พอดี (ขนาด), พอเหมาะ
assailant – someone who violently attacks another person  ผู้ทำร้าย
sentence – (of a court of law) to give a punishment ลงโทษ
apparently – based only on what you have heard or think, not on what you are certain is true; seemingly ตามที่ได้รู้มา
unaware – not knowing or realising something ซึ่งไม่รู้ตัวมาก่อน
disappear – to move someone somewhere where they can no longer be seen หายไป
immediately – happening right after something else with no delay; right away ทันที
responsible for – deserving to be blamed for something that has happened มีความรับผิดชอบ
refuse – to say you will not do something that someone has asked you to do ปฏิเสธ
act – to take action; to do something for a particular purpose or in order to deal with a situation  จัดการ, ดำเนินการ, ปฏิบัติ
sound – that you can rely on ไม่มีข้อบกพร่อง
evidence – information that is used in court to try to prove something หลักฐานประกอบการไต่สวนคดี หรือพิจารณาคดี
admit – to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it  ยอมรับ
moreover – used to introduce some new information that adds to or supports what you have said previously ยิ่งกว่านั้น, จากนั้น
sue – to take legal action against a person or organisation, especially by making a legal claim for money because of some harm that they have caused you ฟ้องร้อง
defame – to say or write something bad about someone that is not true and makes other people have a bad opinion of them ทำลายชื่อเสียง
legal – relating to the law or lawyers เกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย
fee – an amount of money that you pay ค่าธรรมเนียม
petition – to ask someone in authority to do something ยื่นคำร้อง
ombudsman – an official whose job is to examine and report on complaints made by ordinary people about companies, the government or public authorities ผู้ตรวจการของรัฐสภา
out of the ordinary – unusual; not typical ผิดปกติ
prosecutor – a lawyer whose job is to prove in court that someone accused of a crime is guilty อัยการ
exercise – to use ใช้
caution – careful thought and lack of hurry in order to try to avoid risks or danger ความระมัดระวัง

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