BANGKOK – After three years in Thai prison, John M. Johansen is back in Norway to celebrate Christmas but it’s only a matter of time before his case gets appealed on the Thai court.
John M. Johansen lived a good life with his wife and son in Pattaya, Thailand. But the world collapsed when he was accused of drug crimes and sentenced to over 16 years in Thai prison.
On 26 September 2012 – after three years and 22 days – he was deported back to Norway. Without warning, he was taken out from his cell to the court room where the judge read him the acquittal.
He had only a brief meeting with his wife and son before was put on the plane immediately.
The 42-year-old from Nærøy told a Norwegian press that back then he had never looked forward to a Christmas celebration with family in Norway again.
However, his thoughts are most likely be with his wife Monika and son Ingemar (9) – both are still in Thailand – and the fact that the public prosecutor is preparing to appeal his acquittal.
Johansen said that the public prosecutor in Thailand has a total of five months’ appeal deadline but he has learned that the court recently gave him more time. “I take that as a sign that the case will be appealed,” he said.
The further fate of Thai legal system will determine Johansen’s future, of whether and when he will return to the country. But his true goal is to return to Pattaya and the accommodation he considers his home.
The uncertainty is rather enormous, normally it takes about five years before an appeal will be dealt with in the Supreme Court.
On the 3rd September 2009, John Johansen, an ex member of the Pattaya Foreign Police Volunteers, was arrested by police, charged with drugs and firearms offenses.
The 39 year old Norwegian was arrested in a sting operation organized by Police Lieutenant Colonel Somsak Nongpong, Deputy Superintendent of The Office of The Narcotic Control Board and his team. At the time of his arrest Johansen had in his possession 40 grams of heroin, and a .38mm gun with 10 bullets. Police also confiscated his Honda motorbike, reg. no. 283 Chonburi.
Johansen, a long time (10 years) resident of Pattaya, was arrested at the El Paso restaurant located at 124/49-51 Moo. 10, South Pattaya, Nongprue.
Johansen has been operating a company providing visa, work permit and translation services in soi 13, besides running “Ingos” bar on Pattaya’s third road with a partner.