Thursday, 4 March 2004

Questions (92)

John Gormley


87 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the reason a person (details supplied) is languishing in a Thai prison without real or proper assistance as should be afforded to an Irish national in distress or difficulty overseas. [7351/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Foreign)

The Irish Embassy in Malaysia, that is also accredited to Thailand, and the Honorary Consulate in Bangkok have been in regular contact with the person to whom the Deputy refers since his imprisonment. In July 2000 he was convicted of murder and sentenced to 13 years and four months. After an appeal his sentence was reduced to ten years.

The embassy raised his case formally with the Thai Foreign Ministry on numerous occasions. The honorary consul visits him frequently. The ambassador and other officials from the embassy in Kuala Lumpur have also visited him on a number of occasions.

In addition to providing regular consular assistance, the honorary consul has written to the Thai Department of Corrections and the prison on his behalf and has arranged numerous visits by family and friends. At present the person is applying for parole, an application to which the Department, through the Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, has lent its support.