Bandidos Released From Immigration

Bandidos member Kim Lindegaard Nielsen was yesterday, Monday 21 January, released from the Immigration detention in Bangkok on a court order obtained by his wife and lawyer stating that his detention was unlawful. The release is a remarkable break with years of routine deportation of foreigners released from pison after having completed their sentence in Thailand.
At the immigration detention Kim’s papers had been ready for several days, waiting only for his wife to fill out the application for his deportation and handing in an air ticket to his home country Denmark. But Linda and Kim’s lawyer refused to file the application, claiming that Immigration had no right to keep him. The court did not specify in his sentence handed down on 27 December that Kim should be deported upon completion of his sentence. Therefore Immigration had no right to demand filing a request for his deportation as a condition for his released.
When Linda and the couple’s lawyer took this complaint to the court on Friday, the order for his release was issued on Monday surprisingly fast. Monday afternoon, Kim Lindegaard Nielsen walked out of Immigration detention center – for the first time in 18 month without hand cuffs outside a prison – where he got into a private car and drove away.
The big Dane was supposed to have been released already on Monday 14 January having completed the sentence he received on 27 December to serve 18 month in prison for having forced another person to eating three amphetamine pills. Normally, a prisoner will upon his release be handed over to the police department that arrested him, but in this case Linda and Kim’s lawyer had asked DSI in advance if they had any interest in this, and as they did not have that, the handover was instead transferred to the local police covering the district of the Bangkok Remand Prison, and consequently an agreement had been reached with that police station that they would not come and pick him up either.
On the morning of Monday 14 January, a small party consisting of Linda, the lawyer and a Danish journalist Morten Perregaard, who is the only media person with access to the Bandidos member, was waiting outside the prison for him. Suddenly they were joined by a squad from Immigration police in Bangkok. Acting on a letter from the Danish Embassy, the immigration police was there to ensure that normal procedure was followed, which means transfer from prison to immigration detention, and from there deportation to the country of origin. It was the impression of the immigration police that the embassy had issued the letter because Danish authorities were interested in talking to Kim and wanted to ensure his deportation to Denmark.
Time is of essence in the game also during the weeks to come, because there is still a window open for the public prosecutor to appeal the verdict which the court reached on the 27 December 2007. The public prosecutor has applied for a 30 days extension of the deadline for appeal initially set to expire on 27 January. The court has accepted this extension until 26 February, which is a clear indication that the public prosecutor has not given up the option of appealing the verdict.
If Kim remains in Thailand, and if the court accepts the public prosecutors appeal, Kim will be detained again during the two to three years it usually takes for the appeals court to reach a verdict to either sustain, dismiss, increase or decrease the sentence against him. Usually, it is possible to be released on bail during this period, but in Kim’s case this is not likely. Throughout his almost one and a half year in detention, the court repeatedly refused all applications for is release against bail no matter how much money was offered in bail.
Kim therefore decided to go abroad to wait there till past the 26 February to see if the case will be appealed. On Tuesday morning, he left Thailand by air for an unknown destination.  When it is clear beyond the 26 February that the public prosecutor did not appeal his sentence, he will then be able to return to live on Samui with his wife and his child in the house on the hill in which he was arrested in July 2006.

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