I am the sister of the James, who on 15 August was sentenced to 15 years in prison, reduced to 10 years. I was in Thailand during the trial, but went home before the verdict.
I can hardly express my deep gratitude for all the support, that is given to help James under his current unfortunate circumstances. I hope that the case will be appealed and tried in court again and maybe the court will reach another verdict.
According to the case against my brother, he should have carried two 15 kg empty gas tanks some 600 meters past a row of houses and over a piece of land filled with snakes in the middle of the night and then set fire to a building over there.
The fire took place before midnight and was quickly put out. Several hours later, at five o’clock in the morning, the firepolice was called and shown the gas tanks, which were empty. After some weeks and a lot of rain, a wheel track is suddenly found and a carefully produced foot print in freshly swept sand is recorded. The print, however, doesn’t fit his foot.
Nobody has seen him there. There are even no proofs that the gas tanks are his. When questioned by the police he was shown two tanks at a distance and asked if they were his. He said they might be. He thought he was called in for the interview at the police station because he had reported that the tanks were stolen.
James motivation for wanting to burn the building is based on a quarrel he has had with the owner of the farm, Khun Tong, who for some time had claimed that some wild dogs, which James fed, killed his fighting cocks. James accepted to pay Khun Tong different amounts of money whenever this happened until one day he saw an employee of Khun Tong throw a dead cock over the fence into his garden.
Then he stopped paying – only to see some of his dogs dying of poisoning.
After being questioned at the polive station, instead of being allowed to go home, James is put in an isolation cell in the local prison. While he spent the time here, his home was ransacked for anything of value and the rest burned outside.
In the isolation cell there was a small hole in the ground and a bucket of water next to it for toilet and personal hygiene. There was nothing else in the cell. The water was rationed. If he spilled any of it, it was not refilled. It was not enough for washing clothes or anything else. Once a day, a spoonful of food was poured on the floor in his cell.
After two month in this cell, James had lost 25 kilos and both mentally and physically sick. Eventually, he was admitted for four month in a psychiatric ward. When he was deemed in better shape, he was sent back to the isolation cell!
Eventually, after a Danish newspaper had published an article about his case, the local mayor suddenly put up a guarantee of 500,000 baht as bail and James could now wait outside of the prison until the court would to try his case.
The case was heard in the court on 25-27 July 2006. The shocking verdict was
read to him on 15 August. Immediately after the verdict was read, James was moved back to the prison, where he is today.
You can send books and food top him by mail while we try to help him appeal
the case. His address is
James Ellermann Christensen
Lang Suan prison
Lang Suan Road 300
Lang Suan District