Swiss national opts for jail after assaulting Thai woman in mall

Photo courtesy of Thairath

A 62 year old Swiss national who physically assaulted a local Thai woman in a mall, chose to remain in custody despite an offer of bail from his former Thai spouse. The Trang Provincial Court had set his bail at 50,000 baht (US$1,406), which his ex-wife was willing to pay.

However, the Swiss man, Dieter Matthias Straumann, rejected her assistance and expressed a desire to stay in jail. He further showed resistance by refusing to liaise with the Swiss embassy or his family.

Yesterday, the Tourist Police reported this incident, stating that in the event of Straumann’s temporary release during prosecution, they have asked immigration authorities to prevent him from leaving Thailand.

The suspect has been uncooperative, refusing to respond to police questioning or sign any document recognising the charges against him. He faces serious allegations of causing severe physical injury and disobedience towards officials due to his lack of cooperation.

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The local police obtained a court order for his 12-day detention on Wednesday.

Straumann is accused of assaulting Natchanan Khikkham, a 58 year old woman, at a Big C store in the Mueang district. The assault occurred when Khikkham asked Straumann to be polite, leading to him pushing her and repeatedly punching her. Khikkham sustained a broken nose, swollen eyes and back, and had difficulty breathing as a result of the attack.

Kritpong Khikkham, the victim’s son, expressed the family’s intention to pursue all possible legal avenues against Straumann. He stated that Straumann had pressed his knee onto his mother’s neck and punched her approximately 20 times, indicating that an attempted murder charge should also be considered. His mother’s medical condition would require four to six weeks of treatment, as per a doctor’s assessment.

Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul emphasised the need for strict law enforcement in this case, given that a citizen was subjected to maltreatment. He voiced his concern over Straumann’s presence in Thailand.

“We do not want such a person in Thailand because he poses a danger to society, and he already used violence and injured another.”

Anutin further raised the question of revoking Straumann’s visa, reported Bangkok Post.

In related news, the Immigration Bureau revoked the visa of a Swiss man involved in assaulting a female Thai doctor in Phuket. He faced legal action and public backlash, leading to visa cancellation.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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