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SRT may drop challenge to 2002 claim for compensation

File Photo

File Photo

Fight against ruling allowing payment tovictim of 2001 rape has gone on 'too long'

THE STATE Railway of Thailand (SRT) is considering scrapping its appeal against a court order that it compensate a woman who was raped on its train in 2001.

"We should withdraw the appeal and act on the court order," acting SRT governor Prasert Attanan said yesterday. He spoke after accepting a petition from the victim.

The woman showed up at the SRT yesterday and asked Prasert to cancel its challenge on two initial rulings in her favour. "Please give me mercy and justice," she said in her petition.

The woman was riding a train for a work trip when an on-duty SRT worker, Nattapat or Rittidej Jakchai, raped her. He was found guilty and sentenced to jail. The victim also won her case in the Civil Court, which ruled that the rapist and the SRT pay her Bt3.07 million in compensation, plus interest calculated from the case-filing date of July 16, 2002. The Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's verdict but the SRT has appealed to the Supreme Court.

When the interest is included, the amount of compensation must be now over Bt5 million.

Prasert said he would ask the SRT board at a special meeting this Friday to consider withdrawing the appeal.

"The case has already dragged on for 13 years now," he pointed out. "It's too long already."

The rape case came back to the media limelight after another SRT employee raped and killed a 13-year-old girl on July 6.

In the wake of the brutal crime, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) sacked SRT Governor Prapat Chongsanguan. Prasert has since been appointed acting governor.

He said Prapat had intended to ask the SRT board to withdraw the appeal against the court order to compensate the 2001 victim too when he abruptly lost his post.

The rape victim will today submit a petition to NCPO chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha also.

Earlier this month, she said that the sexual attack had ruined not just her bright career but also her life.




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