Received by email:

In the afternoon of 11 February 2011, the court informed the public prosecutor and defendant lawyers that the judges will not be free on 15 and 16 February as they will have to attend to cases related to drug-related matters and other matters.

The public prosecutor offered the opinion that a problem has arisen since the witness hearing appeared to be taking more time than expected. The witness hearing for the prosecution was supposed to be finished at this point in the trial, but only five out of fourteen had testified. Given that most of the prosecution witnesses are civil servants, it is also difficult for them to reschedule their plans. This problem also coincides with the yearly schedule when civil servants are appointed. The public prosecutor then requested to cancel the dates for witness hearings next week, which were scheduled to take place on 15, 16, and 17 February 2011. The public prosecutor still needs to conduct hearings of nine additional witnesses.

The defendant lawyers did not have any objection to this and requested four days for the witness hearings for their side.

Given these circumstances, the judges have no objection to the request of the prosecutor and the agreement of the defendant to the request of the prosecutor. For the benefit of justice, the court has issued an order to cancel the witness hearings on 15 – 17 February 2011.

The new dates for the witness hearings for the public prosecutor will be on 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 20, 21 September 2011 (for nine witnesses). The new dates for the witness hearings for the defendant will be on 11, 12, 13, 14 October 2011 (for eight witnesses). [UPDATE: apologies for the date errors in an earlier version of this email. AW]

For a summary of the trial so far, see the daily updates on Freedom Against Censorship Thailand.