The stunning revelation came to light only after The Phuket News followed up on the launch of the free service.
The service was supposed to see volunteer lawyers with English-speaking capabilities provide free legal assistance to Thais and foreigners, including tourists, in trouble with the law at the two main police stations as part of a nationwide project that aimed to have some 10,000 lawyers take part in provideing free legal advice to an estimated 250,000 people in need over six months.
At last report, 32 lawyers had already signed up to provide the free legal aid in Phuket. (See story here.)
However, a member of the Phuket chapter of LCT, who declined to be named, has now told The Phuket News that the project is on hold while the LCT waits for funding from the government.
“The volunteer lawyers, who are to provide the assistance at police stations, have been trained, but the program has been suspended until money is available to compensate the lawyers for their service. We have given the case to the Budget Bureau to consider, but there is no government to consider the issue as yet,” said the official, declining to be named.
The free legal advice was to be available at the two police stations from 8:30am to 4pm seven days, except public holidays.
“Tourists and other foreigners, who often get into transportation-related problems such as car accidents, often do not understand police workings. The volunteer lawyers at police stations can help solve this problem,” said Nuannit Chantawong of the Phuket chapter of the Lawyers Council of Thailand said in announcing the project.