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Prosecution witnesses testify in Rohingya trafficking case

BANGKOK – The Criminal Court today (Thursday) held an advance hearing to allow three prosecution witnesses to testify in a human trafficking case in which altogether suspects, several of them military officers and local officials in southern provinces, were charged with trafficking of persecuted Rohingya from Myanmar.

Lt-Gen Manas Kongpan, a former army advisor, and Mr Patchubun Ungchotephan, aka Ko Tong, former mayor of Satun provincial administration organization, were among the 88 suspects brought before the court to attend the hearing.

Members of the media were not allowed in the courtroom by the court.

The three prosecution witnesses who are Myanmar nationals were due to testify today and tomorrow.

In order to avoid confrontation between the witnesses and the suspects, the court arranged for a video conference in which the witnesses were to testify in a separate courtroom while the suspects and their lawyers were to hear the testimonies from another room.

The next hearings are scheduled on next January 7-8 and 12-15.

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