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Plenty of companions inside overcroweded Phuket Prison

Phuket Prison Likely To Be Lee Aldhouse's Home for Christmas

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
PHUKET: Documents approving the extradition of Lee Aldhouse from Britain to Thailand could be ready as soon as Friday, a leading official in Thailand's Attorney General's Department said today.

Returning the 30-year-old Briton nicknamed ''Pitbull'' to face a Phuket trial for the murder of ex-US Marine Dashawn Longfellow is likely to be swift.

Aldhouse will probably be in a crowded dormitory cell on Phuket well before Christmas.

It will be the first time a British citizen has been extradited to Thailand, a precedent that has quietly delighted the Thai lawyers and officials involved in the lengthy court proceedings.

When the time comes for Aldhouse to be flown to Thailand, media interest on both sides of the world is likely to be intense, Intranee Sumawong, Executive Director of the AG Department's International Affairs Section, told Phuketwan today.

It's an exceptional case because a citizen from one country accused of killing a citizen from another country will face paying a heavy penalty in a third country, where the crime was allegedly committed.

As debate continued in court after court moving up Britain's legal system each time, there were moments when it looked as though the extraordinary bid for extradition might fail.

Lawyers for Aldhouse are believed to have argued that being captive in Thailand in prisons where conditions fell below international standards would be a breach of his human rights.

It is believed that prosecutors will not request the death penalty if Aldhouse happens to be found guilty, and that an undertaking along those lines has probably already been given.

The prospect of sending a British citizen to face the death penalty in another country would have filled some British judges with great anxiety.

On the other side of the Atlantic, though, Dashawn Longfellow's family and friends may be disappointed that life in jail is perhaps the harshest term Aldhouse will eventually face.

Some members of the family have been outspoken in saying that they believe ''cowardly'' Aldhouse deserves to die for the brutal murder of the young man they regard as a war hero.

Some court debate may also have revolved around the Thai court system, where Aldhouse's fate will be decided by judges alone.

In Britain and most other Western countries, a jury would be empanelled for a murder trial.

Whether or not special conditions are to be made for Aldhouse will only become apparent when he arrives at Phuket Prison. Thai officials were said to be prepared to build a special small Western-style cell for Aldhouse if that's what would bring extradition.

As many as perhaps 200 prisoners share each dormitory at the century-old Phuket institution, where numbers in the jail originally built for fewer than 800 recently topped 2000 for the first time.

On a visit during a dawn drugs raid in February, Phuketwan has a chance for the first time to gauge what life was like inside Phuket Prison.

There were about 40 international prisoners, and most of them were grouped together in one dormitory.

Aldhouse will be rubbing shoulders with others accused of murder and awaiting trial. But the vast majority of the prisoners are inside because of Thailand's no tolerance policy towards drugs.

Although the Phuket Prison is so crowded that sleepers are reported to risk losing their bed space on the floor if they go to the toilet in the middle of the night, the jail is clean.

Phuket has ''white prison'' status, which means it's free from drugs, illegal mobile telephones and weapons, and the prison director has a reputation for encouraging reform.

Although the murder took place in southern Phuket on August 14, 2010, the case has been a long one so far, with more to come.

Back in March 2011, Khun Intranee forecast success in the extradition process. ''We do have a strong case against Mr Aldhouse,'' she said.

On Facebook today at the Dashawn Longfellow memorial page, the messages in support of the extradition were loud and clear.

Typically, Michelle Elizabeth Bender wrote: ''I have visited Phuket many times over the years and subscribe to the newspaper Phuketwan and read about Dashawn not long after the tragedy occurred. I was so saddened and angered that the life of such an obviously fine man could be so cruelly taken in such a cowardly act.

''I hope that the coward Aldhouse is incarcerated for the rest of his miserable life. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to Dashawn's loved ones who he obviously did proud for the short time he was on this earth. R.I.P. mate.''

CNN Report With Phuketwan

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/08/17/thailand.kickboxing.killer/?hpt=T2#fbid=j8b3WNTelG3&wom=false/

The 7-Eleven Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvuYakEINGg/

Comments

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"Phuket Prison Likely To Be Lee Aldhouse's Home for Christmas"

- and the next 20 or 30 Christmases, I hope (after his fair trial, of course).

Posted by Buster on November 20, 2012 22:12

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"The prospect of sending a British citizen to face the death penalty in another country would have filled some British judges with great anxiety" - The UK does not extradite to any country that has the death penalty. Thailand would have agreed that under no circumstances would it be applied.

Posted by Happy Farang on November 20, 2012 22:33

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Good news!

Posted by Greg on November 21, 2012 01:02

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...and a happy happy new year (or 2 or 3 or 4 etc etc)

Posted by sky on November 21, 2012 09:05

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I'm Dashawns sister. This news is amazing. Maybe for the first time since he took my brother from us we can have a decent holiday season. I don't think Lee deserves to die from the death penalty. He isn't good enough for that. He deserved to get his butt kicked every day for the rest of his miserable life. I'm so happy this is finally happening!

Posted by Sabre Anderson on November 22, 2012 01:22

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I'll see the arrival of Aldhouse as good news. I don't believe they will "kick his ass daily", but I do expect they will take "benefit" and use off it regurlarly.

Thai government please STOP handing out VISA for attending Thai-boxing classes! You attract the wrong mentality guys!

Posted by PhuketGreed on November 22, 2012 09:44


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