German HIV suspect charged with visa overstay

19th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

19 November 2004, BANGKOK - A provincial court on Friday charged a German national, accused by local community members of spreading HIV/AIDS among school girls, with overstaying his visa by three years, sentencing him to 58 days in jail and deportation. Chaiyaphum provincial court judge Sunthorn Pichoi senetenced Hans-Otto Schiemann, 55, born in Schweinfurt, Germany, to 58 days in jail, equivalent to the time he has already spent in detention while awaiting trial. If he does not appeal the charge, he will

19 November 2004

BANGKOK - A provincial court on Friday charged a German national, accused by local community members of spreading HIV/AIDS among school girls, with overstaying his visa by three years, sentencing him to 58 days in jail and deportation.

Chaiyaphum provincial court judge Sunthorn Pichoi senetenced Hans-Otto Schiemann, 55, born in Schweinfurt, Germany, to 58 days in jail, equivalent to the time he has already spent in detention while awaiting trial.

If he does not appeal the charge, he will be deported immediately, to the relief of the Chaiyaphum community, some of whom have accused Schiemann of being HIV-positive and actively paying young school girls in the neighbourhood to have unprotected sex with him.

Schiemann's ex-wife, a Thai national, has tested positive for HIV. Schiemann told reporters before entering the court on Friday that he had been infected by the virus in Chaiyaphum, although previously he claimed to have never been tested for the virus.

Pichoi said if Schiemann did not appeal the decision within 30 days, as allowed by Thai law, he would be deported.

Schiemann, who has only one leg, tried to stroll out of the court during his trial on crutches but was stopped by guards.

He refused the use of a Thai-German interpreter, claiming that his Thai was better than the translator's. Schiemann also denied his guilt in overstaying his visa, claiming he is now a Thai citizen.

At his first trial he said he did not wish to return to Germany after spending eight years in Thailand.

Police arrested Schiemann on 27 September at the prompting of his former wife, who told community leaders she contracted the deadly virus from her husband. The ex-wife also informed authorities that her husband was fond of purchasing unprotected sex from young school girls.

Health authorities in Chaiyaphum have not been able to determine whether Schiemann is HIV positive, since Thai law prohibits involuntary blood tests.

There have been more than one million reported cases of HIV/AIDS in Thailand since the deadly virus was first detected in 1984. More than 400,000 Thais have died from AIDS-related diseases.

DPA

Subject: German news

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