Thailand orders release of arms jet crew

Thailand dropped charges on Thursday against the crew of a plane that was found to contain 35 tonnes of weapons from North Korea.

Thailand orders release of arms jet crew

Thailand dropped charges on Thursday against the crew of a plane that was found to contain 35 tonnes of weapons from North Korea.

Prosecutors decided against charging the crew -- four Kazakhs and a Belarussian -- because there was no evidence to suggest the weapons would be used in Thailand and their indictment would not be of any benefit to the country.

"They may be guilty but we are not indicting them because there is no evidence they are using Thailand as a base or transferring weapons here," Kayasit Pissawongprakan, director general of Thailand's attorney general's office, told reporters.

"This case does not involve Thailand and an indictment would not be beneficial for relations with those countries," he said, adding the crew would be deported, as requested by their home countries, which had promised further investigation.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said last week Thailand was waiting for guidance from the United Nations on what to do with the weapons, but insisted their final destination remained a mystery.

The crew members were initially charged with possession of arms but repeatedly denied knowledge of the weapons or where they were headed. They said the plane was en route to Sri Lanka and the Middle East, but did not know the final destination.

Reuters

Last Mod: 11 Şubat 2010, 16:54
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