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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Thailand Supreme Court completely dismisses drug case, after which Australians and American are released from Thai death row

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An Australian and an American man, who were on death row in Bangkok, have all been released from prison on charges of trafficking in crystal methamphetamine.

A Sydney Morning Herald newspaper article says they had been accused of smuggling half a tonne of crystal methamphetamine for a Hells Angels biker gang in Thailand.

After being acquitted by the Supreme Court last week, 37-year-old Luke Cook from Western Australia arrived in Sydney and flew California native Tyler Gerard back to the United States.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Luke Cook, who used to run a bar and boarding house in Pattaya, has been pleading his innocence since he was behind bars in 2017 and that his father was campaigning for his release.

Luke Cook at Bangkok airport with his wife Kanyarat Wechapitak. He arrived in Sydney on Sunday after being acquitted of drug trafficking, for which he was sentenced to death.
Luke Cook at Bangkok airport with his wife Kanyarat Wechapitak. He arrived in Sydney on Sunday after being acquitted of drug trafficking, for which he was sentenced to death.

According to the same newspaper article, they were arrested following allegations that Luke Cook had been charged $10 million by the Hells Angels for smuggling 500 pounds of methamphetamine aboard his yacht, where Tyler Gerard is said to be a crew member. Police had claimed Cook dumped the drugs overboard when a Thai naval vessel approached and a package containing just over 50 kilograms of methamphetamine was found on a beach in Chonburi province.

The Melbourne-based Capital Punishment Justice Project has supported defense lawyers, alleging that it was deliberate and that the men are innocent.

Luke Cook and his wife Kanyarat Wechapitak. Thai police say Cook attempted to smuggle the drugs into Australia in June 2015 on behalf of the Hell’s Angels biker gang.

Thailand Bail Legal Services announced in a press release in Pattaya news that the case has been completely dismissed by the Supreme Court and that both Luke Cook and Tyler Gerard are out of jail, Thailand and back home.

The case has been completely dropped by the Supreme Court after 19 months of deliberation since the Court of Appeal’s death penalty sentence.

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