Officers to be disciplined for freeing German child sex suspect

Officers to be disciplined for freeing German child sex suspect

Deputy national police chief Surachate Hakparn.
Deputy national police chief Surachate Hakparn.

Two senior police officers who allowed a German man facing child sex charges in Pattaya to leave the country will face disciplinary and possibly criminal action, a deputy national police chief said on Wednesday

Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn said a station chief and an interrogator in Pattaya would be disciplined for failing to send the suspect into immigration police detention and to oppose his bail request.

The child sex case involves German national Jens Kirch, 55, and dates back to September 2022.

The German was arraigned on charges of having sex with a minor he took from a bar to his hotel room in Pattaya. He successfully sought permission to leave the country in November last year on a "business trip" and failed to return and attend his trial in Pattaya Court later that month as ordered.

Pol Gen Surachate said the two officers could face criminal charges if the case proved to involve bribery.

As a German documentary reported that the suspect was in Germany, Pol Gen Surachate said, he would discuss extradition with the German ambassador to Thailand. The two countries do not have an extradition agreement, he said.

The documentary, Sex Tourists in Thailand, was posted on the Deutsche Welle Dcumentary YouTube Channel and has since been blocked in Thailand. In it, the German suspect reportedly said he paid about 700,000 baht for bail and legal fees and another one million baht in cash to officials before flying home to Frankfurt seven days after being charged.

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