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Police open door to no death penalty charge over Phuket seastead case

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Police open door to no death penalty charge over Phuket seastead case

By The Phuket News

 

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Vice Governor Supoj Rotreuang Na Nongkhai urged sensitivity in following due process in the case. Photo: PR Dept
 

PHUKET: The police investigator tasked with the Royal Thai Navy complaint against American Chad Elwartowski and his Thai partner Supranee Thepdet over the ‘seastead’ built south of Phuket told The Phuket News today (Apr 19) that he will not move to charge the couple under Section 119 – which may incur the death penalty – if he finds no evidence that the structure threatens national security.
 

Lt Col Siriwat Inyim, Deputy Chief of the Wichit Police told The Phuket News this evening (Apr 19), “This is my case to investigate, and I have received a complaint asking police to press charges under Section 119 of the Criminal Code.”

 

“However, although I have yet to conclude my investigation, if I do not find any evidence that this seastead threatens national security, I will not ask the Public Prosecutor to move ahead with that charge,” Col Siriwat said.


Full story: https://www.thephuketnews.com/police-open-door-to-no-death-penalty-charge-over-phuket-seastead-case-71151.php#omlD3z4TBMyZKeQH.97

 

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-- © Copyright Phuket News 2019-04-20

 

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Quote

No one has yet created a structure on the high seas that has been recognized as a sovereign state. 

Wiki quote - but that is the idea - which would open all kinds of issues - much beyond tax as such.

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Wanted American quizzed over  ‘sea home’ off Phuket coast

By THE NATION WEEKEND

 

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IMMIGRATION police have questioned an American bitcoin investor who set up a floating structure off the coast of Phuket and is facing criminal charges related to the waterborne homestead, deputy national police spokesman Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen said on Friday.

 

However, Krissana declined to elaborate and the couple’s whereabouts are not known. Chad Andrew Elwartowski and his Thai girlfriend, Suprenee Thepdet (also known as Nadia Summergirl), erected the structure – inspired by the “seasteading” movement – on February 2. It is to the southeast of Koh Racha Yai, about 12 nautical miles from mainland.

 

The Royal Thai Navy and Phuket Maritime personnel boarded the structure last Sunday, saying it violates the law and poses a navigational hazard. Elwartowski had posted on his Facebook page on Tuesday that he and his partner were in hiding and feared for their lives, as they were being hunted down by the authorities. He later deleted the post. On Wednesday, Immigration police revoked his visa and put him on a blacklist.

 

The United States embassy in Bangkok is providing assistance to the two.

 
The embassy is aware of the reports that Thai authorities have charged Elwartowski, said Robert Post, its public affairs officer, on Friday. 

 

“The embassy is providing all appropriate assistance and understands Elwartowski has engaged an attorney,” Post told The Nation Weekend.

 

Threatening sovereignty

 

The couple is facing charges of threatening the Kingdom’s sovereignty following the boarding of the structure last weekend.

 

Phuket deputy governor Supoj Rotreuang Na Nongkhai was preparing information to present to the embassy if it required further details. While Elwartowski has claimed that his waterborne home is outside Thailand’s maritime boundaries, the authorities have insisted that its existence violated Article 119 of the Criminal Code because Thailand’s territorial rights were disturbed. 

 

According to law firm Siam Legal, Article 119 of the Criminal Code, which covers “intent to cause injury to the nation”, states: “Whoever does any act with intent to cause the country or any part thereof to descend under the sovereignty of any foreign state, or to deteriorate the independence of the state, shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life.” 

 

The authorities are entitled to prosecute the couple as the structure is within the Kingdom’s territory, Supoj said. “Harm was done because they had invited people to set up [additional] structures and, so far, 14 people [have shown an] interest to join them,” he said, referring to the seasteading movement in which people seek to establish floating communities in international waters.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30367993

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-04-20

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