People wrongly prosecuted, detained 'entitled to compensation'

People wrongly prosecuted, detained 'entitled to compensation'

๋Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin gives a speech marking the 130th anniversary of the ministry's establishment on Chaeng Watthana Road in Laksi district, Bangkok on March 25. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
๋Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin gives a speech marking the 130th anniversary of the ministry's establishment on Chaeng Watthana Road in Laksi district, Bangkok on March 25. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The Justice Ministry is looking for 411 people who were wrongly prosecuted, tried and imprisoned in criminal cases -- but later found not guilty and released -- to inform them they are entitled to compensation under the law, Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin said on Sunday.

Of the 411 people released from prisons by the Corrections Department, 26 were in Bangkok and 385 in other provinces.

Mr Somsak said he had instructed the Department of Rights and Liberties Protection Department to locate the 411 and inform them of their rights to compensation.

The department then tried to locate them using information from the main database, by contacting their community leaders and through their families, he said.

Their actual whereabouts were hard to determine because after being released they did not return to their homes as shown in official domicile registrations.

Mr Somsak said those affected can claim compensation by filing a request with the Office of the Judiciary in every province and the Department of Rights and Liberties Protection.

According to the law on compensation in criminal cases of 2001, amended in 2016, people who were prosecuted in court, detained during the trials and imprisoned -- but whose cases were later withdrawn or were found not guilty -- are entitled to compensation on being released.

The compensation includes 500 baht per day while in detention; medical expenses up to 40,000 baht;  rehabilitation costs up to 50,000 baht; lost income based on the daily labour wage in each province; and legal expenses up to 30,000 baht.

In case of death, their relatives are entitled to 100,000 baht compensation -- 20,000 baht for the funeral, 40,000 baht for lost financial support and other expenses up to 40,000 baht.

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