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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thai man kept in prison for 3 extra years because of a typo, finally released after a visit by a Minister

Who says that meetings with politicians cannot be helpful ? This Thai man, serving a long sentence in an Indonesian jail, certainly valued his meeting with the Minister. The jailed man had been sentenced to life in 1987 for a drug related sentence (should have been thankful not to have been sentenced to die, like Singapore and other countries in the area do so), and was later given a slight reprieve, with the sentence changed to 20 years by a presidential decree. So he should have been out in 2007, but when setting the decree, the year of entering the jail was set as 1997 instead of 1987, with nobody seeming to correct it. It was only in 2010 when a minister was visiting the jail that the inmate got a chance to be able to present his case, and was promptly released (link to article):

A single clerical error can change the course of one’s life. Just ask Kamjai Khong Thavorn, 53, a Thai national who spent nearly three extra years in the maximum-security Pasir Putih Penitentiary in Nusakambangan, West Java, because of a typing error. Kamjai was due for release in 2007 after a 20-year sentence he received in 1987 for heroin possession, but up until Wednesday, he was still behind bars.
Having spent an extra three years in jail for no fault of his own, Kamjai was promptly released on Thursday after a chance meeting with Justice Minister Patrialis Akbar, who happened to be visiting the prison for an inspection.

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