Anutin rules out Fehr's visa appeal
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Anutin rules out Fehr's visa appeal

Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said that he would not consider any appeal made by a Swiss man whose visa was revoked for allegedly kicking a doctor in Phuket.

He said he would block any attempt to reverse the Immigration Bureau's (IB) decision to revoke Urs Fehr's visa.

"Does anyone [not] want to see his visa revoked? Not this interior minister," Mr Anutin said during a visit to Si Sa Ket yesterday.

Mr Fehr had 48 hours to appeal the IB's decision, signed on Wednesday by Pol Maj Gen Songprote Sirisukha, commander of Immigration Division 6.

Although the bureau is under the police force, the interior minister is directly involved in visas issued to foreigners living in the country.

Mr Fehr was charged with physical and mental assault after allegedly kicking Thandao Chandam, a Dibuk Hospital doctor, who was sitting near his villa on Yamu Beach in Thalang district on Feb 24.

Pol Maj Gen Songprote has said he will be allowed to stay in Thailand on bail to defend his case in court.

However, Mr Anutin said the court case will not be used as an excuse for Mr Fehr to regain his business visa.

"The court case can continue," he said. "It has nothing to do with the visa issue."

The kicking incident sparked protests against the suspect and questions were raised over the questionable ownership of public beaches across the island, including Yamu Beach.

On Thursday, about 500 residents rallied in tambon Ratsada in Muang district outside the Cape Nga Development Co office, accusing the company of blocking a public road to Laem Nga beach. The events were taking place while Phuket governor Sophon Suwannarat was away.

Mr Anutin said the governor is attending a tourism exhibition in Germany, but his trip may be cut short.

"I really want to order the Phuket governor [to return] back from Germany now," he said. "He is at a tourism fair."

"I will urgently order him to come back because of a bunch of problems [in Phuket]," he added.

Mr Anutin did not provide details of the tourism fair in Germany. It is not clear if he was talking about ITB Berlin, the world's largest tourism exhibition.

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