Witness protection sought for gang-rape case of a 14-year old schoolgirl

A lawyer defending for a 14-year old schoolgirl who was a victim of gang-rape in Suphan Buri province has sought witness protection from the Justice Ministry, claiming the victim's mother is being intimidated.

The lawyer, Songkarn Atchariyasap, on Thursday met justice permanent secretary Mr Thawatchai Thaikhiew and handed the latter his petition, seeking protection of witnesses as well as financial and legal help for the victim.

He claimed that a police officer in Suphan Buri was behind the gang-rape of the schoolgirl who was lured by a boyfriend to a gaming shop in Dan Chang district and then raped by several men.

Songkarn said he was concerned with the safety of the victim's mother and relatives whom, he claimed, were shadowed by some strangers and intimidated.

Mr Thawatchai said he had accepted the lawyer's petition for consideratioin and had assigned the Rights and Freedom Protection Department to handle the case.

He added that since the case concerned with human trafficking, witness protection programme could be arranged whereas the request for financial and legal help would be discussed at a meeting next week.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)