CHIANGRAI TIMES – Thai police have come under criticism again by the international community after an Australian TV show ran a story about a man who lost his girlfriend in an accident and was then allegedly framed by police on Koh Samui.
Tragedy in Thailand, an episode of the popular TV show A Current Affair on Australia’s Channel 9 network, accused Thai police of injustice and corruption.
In a getaway which was supposed to be the trip of their dreams, Jamie Keith faced his worst nightmare while dealing with Thai police after an accident that killed his girlfriend Nicole Fitzsimons, a former Channel 9 reporter.
The couple went on holiday to Koh Samui in Surat Thani province in October 2012.
On their last night on the island, the couple were heading back to their hotel after dinner when the accident occurred.
The show ran video footage from a surveillance camera in the area which showed the couple slowing their scooter to make a right turn into the hotel when a speeding bike crashed into them.
The couple, who were not wearing crash helmets, were thrown off their scooter and Fitzsimons was severely injured. She died three hours later.
The accident took place at 11pm on Oct 18, according to Bor Phut police in Koh Samui district. The Thai driver was identified as Kongla Satue.
Mr Keith said he was not only saddened by his girlfriend’s death but also by the actions of the Thai police.
He was taken to the police station after being released from hospital, where he was handed a document in Thai.
He said police demanded he sign a confession as the guilty party of the crash, in exchange for his passport, but he refused.
Six days later, Mr Keith reluctantly agreed to sign a document which stated there was no guilty party in the accident.
“Jamie and Nicole’s family were denied justice over the accident,” the show’s presenter said.
“Grief is momentarily overtaken by disbelief when unscrupulous Thai police tried to turn the tragic loss of a young Australian woman into a pay day for themselves.”
In the video, Fitzsimons’ father said he was told that it would cost him A$15,000-30,000 (480,000 – 960,000 baht) to get Jamie out of the situation.
“They said it was an accident. That bloke is walking free, it burns me to see that,” Mr Keith said in tears.
“It’s a cruel world there (Thailand), and we have seen it, there are no laws,” he added.