BANGKOK – Thailand’s National Police Chief, Chakthip Chaijinda, has reported that the police’s legal and foreign affairs units are examining whether Laura Witheridge had broken any laws after posting on Facebook that “the vast majority of the Thai police are corrupt” and suggested that her sister’s killer was still free.
Laura Witheridge said in a lengthy Facebook post on Monday that court officials had asked her family: “Why are you so bothered? Just go home and make another one.” The post was later heavily edited and then removed following media interest.
A spokesperson for the court of justice said in a statement there was “deep concern” over allegations “implicating that inappropriate remarks were made on the death of Miss Hannah Witheridge by judges and court officials at the trial”.
“The office of the judiciary has promptly conducted a preliminary investigation, defamation in Thailand is a criminal offense.” the spokesperson said.
Laura Witheridge, who did not respond to requests for comment, said in her Facebook post (since removed) that she had received death threats from people in Thailand. “They defaced photographs of me saying that the killers had only done ‘half the job’,” she said.
The Royal Thai police spokesperson Dejnarong Suthicharnbancha told the UK’s Guardian this week that Witheridge’s allegations of corruption were presented “without evidence and without fact. If there’s any corruption, it has to be seen on a case-by-case basis.”
But, he said, police would be willing to work with Witheridge if she wanted to take up the matter with authorities.