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Still no extradition request for Phuket fugitive arrested a month ago

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: One month after his arrest in the Philippines, the extradition of British fugitive Michael John Taylor, also known as “Mick the Pom”, wanted in Phuket on murder charges, appears to be at a standstill.

Phuket’s top cop Maj Gen Ong-art Phiewruangnont says he has no knowledge of the case, and the officer in charge of it, Lt Col Danprai Kaewwehol of the Phuket Provincial Police, has said that he fully supports bringing Mr Taylor back to Thailand and will talk to a prosecutor.

Repeated calls to Lt Col Danprai since March 11, five days after Mr Taylor’s arrest by Filipino police on visa overstay charges, have gone unanswered or yielded no information.

Phuket’s Chief Public Prosecutor Chiengsean Panhya explained that he could not pursue the extradition without a formal request from the police.

“I don’t have the authority to pursue it unless the police ask me to. Our office is not even permitted to ask the police to file such a request,” Mr Chiengsean said.

“However, once they do, the next step would be for us to forward the case to the Office of the Attorney General in Bangkok, and it would then be in their hands to get Mr Taylor back to Thailand to face justice.”

Mr Taylor, 50, is wanted for the 2004 stabbing murder of his girlfriend Jantra Weangta, 27, in Chalong. Ms Jantra was found dead in Mr Taylor’s rented bungalow on August 17 (story here). Mid-way through his 2006 trial, Mr Taylor disappeared (story here).

Taylor’s arrest came after long delays and inaction by Phuket law enforcement authorities under the previous Provincial Police Commander Choti Chavalwivat, who had been informed of his whereabouts last year (story here).

Col Danprai told the Phuket Gazette last week that he had been unable to follow up on Mr Taylor’s case with the public prosecutor.

“We are very busy identifying [missing Russian expat] Mr Slabinskiy. Please give us some time. We will get back on the Taylor case as soon as possible,” he said on Thursday.

— Chutharat Plerin

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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