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Phuket Court dismisses sex case against PIA teacher

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PHUKET: ABC News reports that child sexual assault charges against a Tasmanian teacher working in Phuket have been dropped.

Andrew Clements, 51, was arrested in March for the alleged assault on a four-year-old boy.

The teacher strongly denied having committed the offence, alleged to have taken place while he was employed at the prestigious Phuket International Academy (PIA).

He had been dismissed from the school in December 2009, but the school told the Phuket Gazette on March 30 this year that there was “absolutely no connection between his dismissal from the school and the criminal charge which he now faces.”

When Mr Clements appeared in Phuket Provincial Court for a hearing on Monday (June 14), he was simply told that the charge against him had lapsed due to lack of evidence.

Yesterday, ABC News reported that Mr Clements had been inundated with calls from the media, and that he was no longer commenting because he was sick of the attention.

The Advocate newspaper in Australia had in March reported that Mr Clements was a former professional basketball player who represented his country, and that a former Tasmanian teammate had told the paper he was “shocked, just shocked, to hear the allegations.”

“There will be a lot of people in basketball that know Clemo that would be thinking that would not be true,” he said.

Phuket eco-complex now friendly

Property Report
Construction has finished on the new Häfele Design Centre in Phuket. With 16,000 square metres of space on five levels, the centre is promoting itself as the first “sustainable and European-infused alfresco lifestyle shopping village” in Phuket.

The building of the Häfele Design Centre was a collaboration between OIA (general planner, architects and interior designers), DCM (general contractor), Comcon (project management and quantity surveying services), Warnes (structural engineering) and EEC Lincolne Scott (mechanical and electrical engineering, lighting design).

Häfele is the ‘marquee tenant’, with other retailers oriented towards home and interior design, property, and construction.

The building, already a landmark on Phuket’s bypass road, features a 4,200 square metre “floating” roof which provides shade and – when heated from the sun – spurs airflow, reducing the need for air conditioning usage.

The official grand opening date is tentatively scheduled for October or November.

Thais surprise the world

The Korea Herald
Thailand‘s economy surprised economists and policymakers by growing 12 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2010. It was the nation’s highest growth rate in 15 years and one of the worlds’ fastest rates registered to date this year.

Exports were particularly brisk due to continued recovery of Thailand‘s major trading partners, including China, the ASEAN countries and the United States,” Thai finance minister Korn Chatikavanij said.

However, he said the recent political unrest that started in March has considerably weakened the strong growth momentum. He estimated the second quarter growth rate to come in at 6 percent year-on-year, still high when compared with most countries around the world.

Thai downgrade for human trafficking

Business Week
Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam all regressed last year in their efforts to battle trafficking of men, women and children for labor or commercial sex, according to the U.S. State Department.

The department’s 10th annual report grades 175 nations on their efforts to fight this modern form of slavery. The U.S. is listed for the first time, placed among those countries that are doing their best to comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the American law against human trade.

Thailand “has expressed its disappointment” with the report, foreign ministry spokesman Thani Thongphakdi said by telephone. “We believe that the report did not give due recognition to Thailand’s efforts to address the trafficking problem,” he said.

— Gazette Editors

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